Gov. Terry Branstad today endorsed Gov. Mitt Romney for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
Branstad says it is time for the party to come together and devote their attention to victory against President Obama as Republicans gear up for the November election.
"I purposefully withheld my endorsement until now, because I wanted my focus to be on uniting the Republican Party going into the fall.
"I want to commend all of the candidates who participated in the Iowa caucuses. Once again, Iowa did its job in winnowing the field. The top four finishers in the Iowa caucuses remain the four candidates in the race. Now, more than three months later and after a vigorous campaign, I believe the time has come to coalesce around one candidate.
"All four candidates have worked hard. All four candidates demonstrated why they would be better than the current White House occupant. I consider all four of the remaining candidates my friends, and I am proud of the campaigns they waged in Iowa. They fought hard, and shared their ideas for our country. In the end, we knew one of the top four finishers out of Iowa would be our nominee, and I am excited to elect a Republican president who got their start in Iowa.
"Now that dozens of caucuses and primaries have occurred, the process did what it was supposed to do, and that is produce the candidate who will capture the needed delegates: Mitt Romney.
"Today, I am enthusiastically endorsing Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president. In Mitt Romney, Americans will have a clear contrast with President Obama in November. Gov. Romney is committed to cut out-of-control spending, unleash the private sector to create jobs, and ensure that future generations have the opportunities we have enjoyed due to the American free enterprise system.
"There is a lot at stake in the upcoming election, and Republicans in Iowa are energized. One need only look at the surging Republican registrations to understand how motivated our party is heading into November. Republicans are in a position to carry Iowa for just the second time since 1984, and we will not let this opportunity slip away. Mitt Romney is going to be a strong general election contender, and I will work every day to unite Republicans and attract independents and disillusioned Democrats to elect a president who will restore the American dream and unite our nation."