(CNN) – The Detroit News, one of the largest newspapers in Mitt Romney's native state of Michigan, endorsed the Republican presidential candidate on Wednesday, just days before the state's critical primary.
"Mitt Romney stands alone among the Republican primary field as the candidate capable of winning the White House, and more importantly, of leading the nation to a prosperous future," the editorial read.
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The former Massachusetts governor has planted his flag in the Wolverine State, where his father once served as governor. His campaign and a pro-Romney super PAC have purchased major ad buys to combat his chief rival, Rick Santorum, who has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity. Several polls show the two candidates in a heated race in the state.
The newspaper comes as a boost for Romney before Michigan voters head to the polls on Tuesday.
The editorial praised Romney as the most qualified and electable candidate, citing his corporate experience at Bain Capital, a private equity firm.
While the editorial board took issue with Romney's 2008 opposition to the so-called auto bailouts–funds the newspaper deemed "absolutely essential to the survival" of the auto industry–the board said it was not a "differentiator issue," as all four of the remaining GOP candidates opposed the bailouts.
"But if America is to avoid financial catastrophe, the next president must be willing to downsize government, jettison some of its operations and slash a federal work force that has grown by 12 percent over the past four years," the board said. "Romney is best equipped for that task."
As for Santorum, the paper said Republicans are "delusional" if they think the former Pennsylvania senator could defeat President Barack Obama in November.
Pointing to his failed re-election bid in 2006 and his recent rhetoric on social issues, the editorial board said "nothing in his background suggests he has the skills to unify Americans behind his banner and become the leader of the free world."