Moral Majority co-founder Paul Weyrich endorses Mitt Romney

Endorsements don’t mean as much as they once did, but this one strikes me as a big deal.

Today, Paul Weyrich, Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, announced his support for Governor Mitt Romney and his campaign to be our country’s next President. Paul Weyrich is one of the premier leaders in the conservative movement, having founded the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

“As he travels across the country, Governor Romney has outlined a blueprint to build a stronger America rooted in our common conservative principles. With a clear conservative vision to move America forward, he will strengthen our economy, our military and our families. More importantly, he already has an exceptional record of putting conservative values to work. Because of his experience, vision and values, I am proud to support Governor Romney,” said Paul Weyrich.

The way I see things, Romney has two Achilles heels. One, the charge that he’s too slick and the related charge that he’s a flip-flopper on core conservative issues. Two, that as a Mormon, socially conservative Christians won’t support him. Winning the endorsement of Paul Weyrich goes a long way toward blunting the the flip-flop charge and does quite a bit of damage to the idea that Romney can’t win over evangelicals. Weyrich is among the handful of activists who can claim to have been present at the founding of the social conservative movement, and he’s endorsing Romney.

David Brody adds:

It’s not about the amount of influence Weyrich has today. It’s about how his name is synonymous with traditional values conservatism. That’s the payoff more than anything else. What a way to start off the week. That three legged stool Mitt Romney keeps talking about just got sturdier. We will follow up with more on this throughout the week.