MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Senator John McCain picked up the endorsement of one of Michigan's largest newspapers Sunday, just a little over a week before that state holds its Republican primary.
In an editorial published Sunday, the Detroit Free Press wrote that while the paper "differs with McCain on a number of issues, the Arizona senator is a smarter, more tested pragmatic leader who has shown since 2000 that he knows how to build bipartisan alliances around issues ... He would be a formidable candidate for a party that needs one."
The Free Press endorsed McCain during his bid for the White House in 2000. The Detroit News also recently backed the Arizona senator.
The Michigan endorsements are unwelcome news for rival Mitt Romney, whose history with the state runs deep. He was born and raised there, his father was once Michigan's governor and he kicked off his campaign there last February.
But the paper was cool to his presidential ambitions Sunday. "Michigan-born former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has morphed into what he seems to believe is the perfect conservative Republican in pursuit of the presidential nomination," The Free Press wrote.
"Romney has been a capable manager of every challenge he has ever faced, and his Michigan roots might help a state that surely needs more friends in Washington, but who knows what Romney might morph into in the White House?"
Polls taken before the Iowa caucuses showed an unsettled Republican race in Michigan.