Ryan Endorses Romney in Party Establishment Rally

Photograph by Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

Rep. Paul Ryan.

Bushes. Rubio. Now Ryan.

Within a short time-span, some of the biggest names of the Republican establishment have aligned with the presidential aspirations of Republican Mitt Romney.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed up last week for the former Massachusetts governor’s bid for the party’s 2012 nomination. Then his father, former President George H.W. Bush,  joined this week.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is in. And now Representative Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee from Wisconsin, is with Romney — adding an important conservative voice to Romney’s argument that he can represent that base of the party that has proven reluctant to rally around him.

“Mitt Romney has the skills, the tenacity, the principles, the courage and the integrity to do what it takes to get America back on track,” Ryan said today on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” program. “It’s important that wee coalesce as conservatives.”

Unlike Jeb Bush, however, who withheld any endorsement before Florida’s Republican primary on Jan. 31 — which Romney easily won without Bush’s or Rubio’s help — Ryan is backing Romney at a critical time, before another significant contest — Wisconsin’s April 3 primary

NBC News and Marist College released a poll today showing Romney holding a 7 percentage point advantage over former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennylvania in Wisconsin.  Romney holds the support of 40 percent of likely primary voters, Santorum 33 percent, Texas Representative Ron Paul 11 percent  and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 8 percent.

The poll of 740 likely Republican primary voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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