By Brett LoGiurato
October 02, 2012

John Elway endorsed Republican nominee Mitt Romney for president on Monday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Former Broncos quarterback and current executive vice president of football operations John Elway endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president Monday and introduced Romney at a Colorado rally later in the night.

“Governor Romney is a proven leader with the experience and background to turn around our struggling economy,” Elway said in a release provided by the Romney campaign.

“In these tough economic times, we need a president who understands how to get America working again – by standing on the side of taxpayers and small-business owners who do the real job creating. I am endorsing Governor Romney and Congressman [Paul] Ryan for President and Vice President because I know having the courage to make decisions and tackle challenges is what leads to results and real change. America needs a comeback team – Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are that team.”

The endorsement caused a stir in Republican circles, and the news led the conservative-leaning Drudge Report website Monday night.

Elway was the second prominent football executive to pump up Romney's candidacy on Monday. Earlier in the day, Jets owner Woody Johnson told Bloomberg that he would choose Romney winning the election over the Jets having a winning season.

Elway's endorsement of Republican candidates is nothing new, however. In 2008, he endorsed Republican John McCain as his campaign was fading in late October, telling a crowd he knew "a thing or two about comebacks." In 2004, Elway endorsed former President George W. Bush, who was running for re-election.

“Leaders come in many forms, and John Elway has always exemplified leadership, first as a quarterback for the Super Bowl champion Broncos, and now as an executive vice president for the team,” Romney said in the release. “He’s had to overcome challenges during his career, and he knows what it takes to turn things around when things get tough. I’m proud to have him on my team as we campaign to lead the comeback this nation desperately needs.”

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