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Paul Ryan Backs Romney, Says Race Continuing Is "Counterproductive"

Latest sign that conservatives are coalescing around Mitt Romney.

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Rep. Paul Ryan, the House deficit hawk and Budget Committee chairman formally endorsed Mitt Romney on Fox and Friends this morning, warning it would be "counterproductive" for the race to continue.

"I am convinced if we drag this out to the summer, it's going to make it that much harder to beat Obama in the fall," Ryan said in his endorsement of Romney.

"He has the skills, tenacity, principles, courage and integrity to...get America on track," Ryan added.

Ryan's endorsement follows Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Former President George H. W. Bush who formally back Romney earlier this week, but doesn't change the dynamic of the primary race, which is effectively over.

Nevertheless, the endorsement bolsters message from the Romney campaign and its allies to Rick Santorum: drop out now, before you doom us in the fall.