Mitt Romney's presidential campaign notched another victory this morning in the battle for support from Capitol Hill.
Romney campaign announced the endorsement of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) on Wednesday, the vice chairwoman of the House Republican Leadership Conference, and the highest ranking member of the House to endorse Romney yet.
“President Obama’s policies are not working for Washington State or the rest of the nation. Joblessness remains high and businesses are not able to expand. President Obama’s on-the-job training has left millions of Americans disappointed and looking for someone with the experience to get results. Mitt Romney actually knows how the economy works -- he spent 25 years in the private sector -- and knows how jobs are created." McMorris Rodgers said in a statement annoucing her endorsement.
McMorris Rogders, who is also the highest ranking Republican woman in congress, will chair Romney's campaign in Washington State, the 28th state from which Romney has received an endorsement of a sitting member of congress or governor. Yesterday in Arizona, Romney predicted a long primary season, and Washington State's caucuses, which will held on March 3rd, could be a factor in such a contest.
The announcement of a new endorsement has become an almost daily activity for the Romney campaign, as it looks to lock down establishment support to hold off the surging Newt Gingrich. To date, Romney's campaign has announced 52 endorsements from sitting members of Congress, and three from sitting governors.
McMorris Rodgers is the second member of the GOP leadership to endorse Romney; Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who serves as chairman of the House GOP Leadership, has also endorsed Romney, along with a number of influential committee chairmen.
(By contrast, the House GOP Conference Chairman, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry.)
Yesterday, Romney received the endorsement of former Vice President Dan Quayle.
While the value of endorsements is debatable in a Republican primary, where so-called "superdelegates" are not a factor, those endorsers who can become effective surrogates for a candidate are the most highly prized. In this vein, it has been two governors who have been perhaps Romney's most valuable supporters.
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a former rival for the GOP nomination, now campaigns regularly for Romney -- including last week in New Hampshire -- and serves as a surrogate in television interviews, and on conference calls with reporters.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who earlier this summer was nearly drafted into the race himself, will campaign for Romney today in Iowa, and host a fundraiser for the former Massachusetts Governor in New Jersey next week.