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Texas governor switches endorsement from Gingrich to Romney

By Gregory Wallace, CNN
updated 9:13 PM EDT, Wed April 25, 2012
Texas Gov. Rick Perry initially gave his support to Newt Gingrich after dropping out of the presidential race in January.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry initially gave his support to Newt Gingrich after dropping out of the presidential race in January.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Gov. Rick Perry praises Romney's "vision and record of private sector success"
  • His announcement came following reports that New Gingrich would exit the race
  • Perry left the race in January as his prospects in the S.C. primary dimmed

(CNN) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday affirmed his support for likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, after initially backing Newt Gingrich's rival campaign following his own withdrawal from the race.

"Mitt Romney has earned the Republican Presidential nomination through hard work, a strong organization, and disciplined message of restoring America after nearly four years of failed job-killing policies from President Obama and his administration," the Texas governor said in a statement. "So today I join the many conservative Republicans across the nation in endorsing Mitt Romney for President and pledge to him, my constituents, and the Republican Party than I will continue to work hard to help defeat President Obama."

Perry praised Romney's "vision and record of private sector success."

His announcement came following reports that Gingrich would exit the race next week.

Perry ended his campaign on January 19 after a disappointing finish in Iowa and bypassing the New Hampshire primary to instead focus on South Carolina. As his prospects in the Palmetto State appeared dim, Perry ended his bid and endorsed Gingrich.

"We've had our differences, which campaigns will inevitably have, and Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?" he told reporters in Charleston, South Carolina.

Perry burned through $20 million over the course of his short presidential bid. His April Federal Election Commission filing showed he had nearly $475,000 cash on hand and debts totaling $14,000.

CNN's Marlena Baldacci and Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

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