Mitt Romney earned the endorsement Tuesday of National Review, one of the nation's most prominent conservative publications.
The magazine said in its endorsement that the former Massachusetts governor is a "natural ally of social conservatives," who with his across-the-board conservative views is the candidate most likely to unite that coalition.
"Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest," the endorsement said.
The magazine said former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who are leading the GOP field in several recent national polls, would "pull apart the coalition from opposite ends."
National Review claimed Giuliani would alienate social conservatives, while Huckabee would alienate economic and foreign policy conservatives.
The endorsement also said "Romney has President Bush's virtues and avoids his flaws."
"His moral positions, and his instincts on taxes and foreign policy, are the same. But he is less inclined to federal activism, less tolerant of overspending, better able to defend conservative positions in debate, and more likely to demand performance from his subordinates," the endorsement said.
As for Romney's Mormon faith, which the candidate addressed during a speech last week in Texas, National Review wrote:
"For some people, Romney’s Mormonism is still a barrier. But we are not electing a pastor."