Mitt Romney needed friends back in February, when it looked like Rick Santorum might actually beat him in the Republican presidential primary. Sadly, some friends rushed to his side only after Santorum said he was quitting the race. Romney got five major endorsements Tuesday, and we've ranked their wimpyness.
Endorser: Terry Branstad. “I want to make a difference. I want to campaign actively,” the Iowa governor told the Des Moines Register Tuesday. "I want to help him carry the state of Iowa.” (Note: Branstad, pictured center, is wearing a "Dude It's Beef!" shirt for a pink slime event Tuesday.)
Timing: Acceptable. Though it's looked like Santorum was going to drop out in the last week or so, Branstad made his announcement several hours before Santorum quit the race.
Endorser: Lindsey Graham. "Now is the time to get behind Mitt Romney as our presidential nominee so that every corner of the Republican Party is united," the South Carolina senator said in a statement.
Timing: Suspicious. There's no time stamp on the statement, but the Graham's campaign tweeted it at 3:16p.m., an hour after news broke that Santorum would quit.
Endorser: Rick Scott. The governor was the last statewide official who hadn't endorsed, Politico's Alexander Burns reports. Scott issued a statement Tuesday saying, "There is no question that Rick Santorum ran a hard fought campaign. I commend his passion and his willingness to put the best interest of our party and nation first. Mitt Romney will be our party's nominee and it is critical that all Republicans coalesce behind Governor Romney and focus on electing him as President..."