Romney announces support of Texas Rep. Smith

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Smith’s endorsement is another likely signal that Romney is gathering momentum on immigration and border security issues. Romney seemed to gain traction in his criticism of rival Perry’s stance on both, with Perry sliding in the polls under a heavy barrage of Romney’s criticism on his support as governor of extending in-state tuition rates to undocumented students who graduated from a Texas high school.

“On issues that I have focused on such as border security and job creation, Lamar has been at the forefront in the Congress,” Romney said in a statement.

Smith endorsed Romney in 2008, but held off on endorsing him until now, telling The Hill earlier this month to “ask later” whether he would endorse Romney for 2012. 

“I believe the United States urgently needs to replace Barack Obama as president with a proven leader who will create jobs, reduce the nation’s debt and embrace traditional values. The Republican Party is fortunate to have many candidates who are well-qualified to do just that,” Smith said.