COLUMBIA, S.C. – Bob Jones III, chancellor of the Christian fundamentalist school named for his family, is endorsing Republican Mitt Romney for president.
Romney's campaign confirmed Jones' endorsement Tuesday.
"We're proud to have Dr. Jones' support and look forward to working with him to communicate Governor Romney's message of conservative change to voters," Romney spokesman William Holley said in a statement.
Jones didn't immediately respond to a message left Tuesday evening by The Associated Press. But he told a Greenville newspaper that supporting Romney is critical to make sure former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani doesn't win the GOP nomination and that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton doesn't win the election.
"If it turns out to be Giuliani and Hillary we've got two pro-choice candidates, and that would be a disaster," Jones told The Greenville News for a story on its Web site Tuesday.
Romney and Jones would appear to be a political odd couple, with the Southern fundamentalist Christian throwing his support behind the Mormon who was governor of Massachusetts.
But Jones said his endorsement came after he decided Romney would do the most to represent the average conservative American.
"As a Christian I am completely opposed to the doctrines of Mormonism," Jones told the newspaper. "But I'm not voting for a preacher. I'm voting for a president. It boils down to who can best represent conservative American beliefs, not religious beliefs."