Michigan Governor Rick Snyder endorses Mitt Romney

Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder today endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the presidential race.

Snyder, in a statement distributed by the Romney campaign, praised Romney’s private sector background – something the Romney campaign has been highlighting as a major distinction between Romney and his GOP rivals, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“Michigan needs Washington to be an active, innovative, and supportive partner in its reinvention so that we can put families back to work and give our children the fulfilling opportunities they deserve,’’ Snyder said. “Mitt Romney gets it. He understands the economy and will work with states to create an environment that encourages job growth.’’

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Snyder said while he respects all the Republican presidential candidates, “we need someone from outside the broken Beltway system to turn America’s economy around.’’

Snyder was elected in 2010. Before that, he worked for Gateway computer company and founded an investment firm. Romney’s background is also in finance, as former CEO of the investment firm Bain Capital.

The endorsement comes as Romney – who grew up in Michigan and whose father George governed the state – is facing a tough fight against Santorum, who is rising in the polls.

In announcing Snyder’s endorsement, Romney trumpeted his hometown connections. “Michigan is where I grew up,’’ he said in a statement. “Getting the state back on track is personal for me. Governor Snyder is a businessman like me and understands first-hand how the Obama administration has stifled job growth and economic expansion in Michigan.’’

Romney has already gotten support from numerous Michigan state officials. He is campaigning in the state today. The Michigan primary is Feb. 28.

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