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COLUMBIA, S.C.--South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is backing Mitt Romney's bid for the Republican presidential nomination—ending the suspense over one of the most sought-after endorsements in the party.
Announcing her decision on Fox News, Haley, a tea party conservative who was elected as the state's first female governor a year ago, pointed to Romney's private-sector background and his experience as a Republican governor in a Democratic state as the reasons behind her support.
"What I want is someone who is not part of the chaos in Washington," Haley told Fox News.
Acknowledging that Romney is "not the perfect candidate," Haley said she believed the former Massachusetts governor could go toe-to-toe with President Obama in the general election.
"Gov. Romney is the one candidate that President Obama consistently tries to hit and get out of the way," Haley told Fox News. "That lets me know he's scared of him. It also lets me know Gov. Romney's got a good fight in him and that's the one President Obama doesn't want to have to go against."