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Rivals airbrush anti-Romney words
Game change » The time has come for endorsing their one-time rival.


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"Compared to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is a solid conservative. And I think you have to come down to, what’s the choice this November? And the choice is the most radical president in American history and a failed president at the economy and somebody who has a solid record on jobs and who, in fact, on basic principles, is conservative. And I think you can get into arguments about who’s how conservative, but compared to Obama, Mitt Romney is a solid conservative."

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MICHELE BACHMANN

Bachmann waited four months after dropping out before she endorsed Romney. The congresswoman from Minnesota campaigned with him in Virginia earlier this month but didn’t bring up health care in their joint appearance.

THEN » "He can’t beat Obama because his policy is the basis of Obamacare. The signature issue of Obama is Obamacare. You can’t have a candidate who has given the blueprint for Obamacare. It’s too identical. It’s not going to happen."

"He’s been very inconsistent on his positions. He’s been on both sides of the abortion issue, on both sides of the issue with same-sex marriage ... he was for the TARP bill, the $700 billion bailout and the global warming initiatives."

NOW » "I am endorsing Gov. Mitt Romney for president of the United States, a man who will preserve the American dream of prosperity and liberty."

"This is what victory looks like." Campaigning with Romney in Portsmouth, Va., on the day she endorsed him.

"He’s very smart. He has a very optimistic message. Women trust him because they see, this is a man who started a business from scratch, for heaven’s sake."

"One thing that Mitt Romney has demonstrated, he will repeal Obamacare. That’s a big compare and contrast between Barack Obama. We will never get rid of socialized medicine, which is Obamacare, under Barack Obama. Mitt Romney has committed himself to repealing Obamacare. ... A lot of people know Mitt Romney’s positive agenda."


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RICK PERRY

If he couldn’t have the GOP nomination himself, Perry still wasn’t about to back Romney. As he dropped out of the race, the Texas governor endorsed Gingrich. He didn’t come around to endorsing Romney until Gingrich announced last month that he was planning to drop out.

THEN » "While you were the governor of Massachusetts in that period of time, you were 47th in the nation in job creation. ... You failed as the governor of Massachusetts."

"If you are a victim of Bain Capital’s downsizing, it’s the ultimate insult for Mitt Romney to come to South Carolina to tell you he feels your pain. Because he caused it."

"I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he’d have enough of them to hand out."

NOW » "Mitt Romney has earned the Republican presidential nomination through hard work, a strong organization and a disciplined message of restoring America after nearly four years of failed, job-killing policies from President Obama and his administration."

JON HUNTSMAN

The former Utah governor endorsed Romney at the same time he dropped out of the race in January, but there was no joint appearance.

THEN » "You can’t be a perfectly lubricated weather vane on the important issues of the day."

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