Mitt Romney received an endorsement from the biweekly National Review magazine on Tuesday.
"Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate. In our judgment, that candidate is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts," the editors of the conservative magazine said. "Romney is an intelligent, articulate, and accomplished former businessman and governor."
The editorial said Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani were disqualified because they are not conservative enough and would divide the conservative coalition.
Romney was the most viable among the other three top tier candidates, so he was chosen for editorial support.
The editorial said Romney often comes across not being sincere and that he needs to change this perception in order to get the republican nomination.
"If he is to win the nomination, he will have to show more of the kind of emotion and resolve he demonstrated in his College Station 'Faith in America' speech," the editorial said.
The endorsement comes at a critical time. Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., has passed Romney in Iowa according to Real Clear Politics. Iowa holds the first nominating contest in the nation and its results often influence the outcome in later states.
Romney is gaining ground among conservative Christians who make up most of Huckabee's base. Mark DeMoss, a prominent evangelical who supports Romney said the speech made a big difference for some evangelicals who have not yet chosen a candidate. DeMoss specifically named Chuck Colson, James Dobson and Richard Land as evangelicals he thought were impressed by the speech in an interview via e-mail.
"His theology doesn't matter in a political context. He is a man of faith, a man of character and integrity," DeMoss said.
Romney's religion has become an issue in some circles. The National Review endorsement mentioned this, but said it was irrelevant and inappropriate.
Huckabee is planning to bring up the issue in an editorial to run in the New York Times this Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
The article will reportedly ask, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers?" This is a common attack from those trying to smear the LDS faith.
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