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Texas Gov. Rick Perry, his campaign floundering and out of money, dropped his Presidential bid Thursday and endorsed serial adulterer Newt Gingrich as his choice for the GOP nomination.
“Newt’s not perfect but who among us is,” Perry said in a press conference.
The announcement came hours before the second and last GOP debate in South Carolina before Saturday’s primary. It also came as details began to leak out on just what Gingrich’s ex-wife would say in an exclusive ABC interview Thursday night about Gingrich’s adultery, hypocrisy and ethical lapses.
Gingrich welcomes the endorsement. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the candidate who stands the most to lose from Perry’s withdrawl, praised his now-formal rival.
“Rick Perry ran a campaign based on love of country and conservative principles,” Romney said. “He has earned a place of prominence as a leader in our party.”
Perry had no choice.
“We have spent the bulk of our funds,” campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan said.
Campaign strategists tell Capitol Hill Blue that Perry’s withdrawal will hurt Romney because conservatives had one less alternative to choose from.
“Perry’s votes will go to someone else,” says one. “That someone will be anyone but Romney.”
It the votes go to Gingrich, it will help his current surge in polls in South Carolina, where recent numbers show him closing in on Romney.