Colorado State Senator Steve King (R-Grand Junction) endorsed Mitt Romney in his bid for the GOP Presidential nomination today.

King made the endorsement while introducing the Presidential hopeful at a rally in Grand Junction over the noon hour on Monday. King released a statement regarding his endorsement, saying:

“Governor Romney has the leadership qualities, experience, and credentials to make him best suited for carrying the conservative Republican banner into the November Presidential election, defeat Barack Obama, and put this great nation back on the path to prosperity and strength. We have a country to save, and Mitt Romney is the candidate best able to lead us in doing that.”

During his speech introducing Governor Romney, King added that “politicians think about the next election; statesmen like Mitt Romney think about the next generation.”
Official estimates put the number of people inside for the event at 350, with approximately another 200 listening outside, on speakers set up for those turned away by Fire Marshalls at around 11:45 am. The packed ballroom at the Grand Junction Country Inn saw mainly Romney supporters, with a handful of local Republicans who were either undecided on which candidate to support, or supporting one of Romney’s rivals.

Judy O’Dwyer, a Grand Junction resident and Rick Santorum supporter, said she was attending in order to hear for herself what Romney said, and to see if she could trust him, citing concerns over whether or not he was conservative enough.

She did, however, go on to say that “I will support him fully if he is the candidate”.

During his speech, Romney stuck to the script he has been using around the country, citing President Obama’s dismal record on job creation, foreign policy, regulation, and the debt. His biggest applause came when he discussed energy policy, an issue of crucial importance to this part of Colorado’s western slope, where natural gas drilling and coal mining are among the largest industries, and where  vast oil shale deposits lie waiting for development.

Romney also made an appeal to patriotism, speaking of his love for America, his respect for the military and references to America’s founding documents and historical exceptionalism.