03/05/2012 12:20 pm ET

John Ashcroft Endorses Mitt Romney For President

Former attorney general John Ashcroft endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Monday.

"As a conservative who served as governor of Missouri during the Reagan revolution, I admire Mitt's record of fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, and defense of traditional values in a politically difficult state for a Republican," said Ashcroft, who served in the administration of former President George W. Bush, in a statement.

Romney said in a statement that it was an "honor" to have Ashcroft's backing.

Ashcroft is the third high-profile Republican to back Romney in recent days. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced he was supporting Romney on Sunday. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wrote an op-ed in The Oklahoman Sunday endorsing Romney ahead of the state's Tuesday primary.

Missouri, where Ashcroft served as senator, governor and attorney general, already held its primary on Feb. 7, and Rick Santorum won the contest. However, Santorum's win was merely symbolic as the state will begin a process to award delegates on March 17.