The editorial board of the Union Leader, New Hampshire's most influential paper, has stamped Newt Gingrich with its endorsement. The seal of approval is a big boost for Gingrich and a blow for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney, who had been courting Union Leader officials with hopes of winning the paper's backing, according to Politico.
"We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing," Union Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid wrote. "... Readers of the Union Leader and Sunday News know that we don’t back candidates based on popularity polls or big-shot backers. We look for conservatives of courage and conviction who are independent- minded, grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people, and best equipped for the job."
McQuaid did measure the endorsement, though, writing: "Newt Gingrich is by no means the perfect candidate. But Republican primary voters too often make the mistake of preferring an unattainable ideal to the best candidate who is actually running."
Still, it's a push that Romney would have gladly taken. The former Massachusetts governor remains ahead in the polls in New Hampshire, which will host the first primary on January 10, one week after the Iowa caucus.