Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), the conservative Californian who has moved into the national limelight as a sharp stick in the side of the Obama administration, endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, it was announced Thursday.
The endorsement is the latest among congressional Republicans as Romney seeks to solidify the establishment GOP in his fight with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the front-runner for the Republican nomination according to most polls.
“As someone who shares my background in business, Congressman Issa understands that we need to make fundamental changes in Washington,” Romney said in a prepared statement. “I am proud to have his support and look forward to working with him as I campaign in California and work to bring jobs back to the state and strengthen the American economy.”
Issa, who is reportedly the richest person in Congress having built a fortune on car alarms and other electronic products, also emphasized his business background as a reason for the endorsement.
“As a former businessman, I know that Mitt Romney is the right candidate to get both California and the country’s economy on the right track again,” Issa said in the same statement. ”The country would be well served to have someone who knows how the economy works and has worked in the private sector. President Obama never worked in the real economy — we can’t afford to have another president who has spent his career outside the real economy.”
Though Issa cited Obama, his criticism is also part of the Romney campaign’s attack on Perry as they spar over who will do better at creating jobs and dealing with economic issues. Romney has criticized Perry as a career politician lacking real-world business experience.
Issa represents parts of San Diego and Riverside counties and has been in Congress since 2001. He is currently chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
From that chairmanship he has carved out a prominent role in investigating the Obama administration. He has pushed probes of the Justice Department's Fast and Furious gun operation and has questioned the role of the National Labor Relations Board in its dispute with Boeing Co.