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Romney: I’m the Ideal Tea Party Candidate; Update: Des Moines Register Endorses Romney

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By Doug Powers  •  December 17, 2011 04:05 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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Alternate headline: Romney campaign to unveil breakthrough memory erasing technology:

Mitt Romney said today he’s “the ideal candidate” for the Tea Party movement because his stance on issues lines up “pretty darn well” with the movement he says will soon realize that GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich isn’t their best option for president.

“I recognize that the speaker has a big lead here,” Romney said of Gingrich in a press conference in South Carolina. “But I think as people take a closer and closer look, they’ll recognize that I reflect more effectively the positions which they hold on key issues.

Um, okay. Everybody has a different definition of “ideal,” I suppose.

Romney was probably basing that on having recently received S.C. Governor Nikki Haley’s endorsement, but the Tea Partiers I know are saying that’s not proof Romney has climbed aboard the Tea Party platform, but rather evidence Haley has stepped off it — maybe because she feels that’s what it will take to move onward and upward at some point.

Update: The Des Moines Register announced their endorsement Saturday evening:

In backing Romney, the paper’s editorial board praised the candidate’s “sobriety, wisdom and judgment” and said he offers the best qualities and experience of anyone in the Republican field.

“He stands out especially among candidates now in the top tier,” the paper said of Romney in an endorsement published online Saturday. “Newt Gingrich is an undisciplined partisan who would alienate, not unite, if he reverts to mean-spirited attacks on display as House speaker. Ron Paul’s libertarian ideology would lead to economic chaos and isolationism, neither of which this nation can afford.”

Romney, the paper wrote, has an “ability to see the merits of tough issues from something other than a knee-jerk ideological perspective” suggesting Romney “would be willing to bridge the political divide in Washington.”

“His record of ignoring partisan labels to pass important legislation when he was governor of Massachusetts suggests he is capable to making that happen,” the Register wrote.

The Register endorsed John McCain before the 2008 caucuses.

Also… the Sunday print edition of the Register will contain this Romney endorsement from Bob Dole (h/t Dan Riehl via Twitter).

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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