Rick Perry endorses Romney

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, right, spar during a Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas. Perry, still nursing wounds from his failed presidential campaign, did himself a world of good with his self-deprecating jokes at a dinner in Washington in March. First, he joked that his time as the GOP front-runner had been "the three most exhilarating hours of my life." Then he perfectly skewered Romney by quipping that during the GOP debates, he'd been tempted to turn to his rival and ask, "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" File,AP Photo/Chris Carlson

In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, right, spar during a Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas.
AP Photo

Texas Gov. Rick Perry endorsed likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney Wednesday after campaign aides to Newt Gingrich, whom he endorsed earlier, confirmed he plans to end his bid next week.

Perry, who also ran for the nomination but ended his campaign in January, said in a statement, "Mitt Romney has earned the Republican presidential nomination through hard work, a strong organization, and a disciplined message of restoring America after nearly four years of failed, job-killing policies from President Obama and his administration.

"...Mitt's vision and record of private-sector success will put America back on the path of job creation, economic opportunity and limited government."

Perry endorsed Gingrich after he ended his own presidential bid just days before the South Carolina primary. At the time, he said Gingrich was a "conservative visionary who can transform the future of our country." The former House speaker won South Carolina but his campaign largely faltered after that. He won just one additional primary, his home state of Georgia, and his campaign announced Wednesday that he would suspend his candidacy as early as next week.

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At the start of his campaign for the nomination in August, Perry appeared to be Romney's biggest threat and was a frequent critic of the Massachusetts governor on the campaign trail. Perry famously attacked Romney as a "vulture capitalist" and said he destroyed jobs for personal gain while at the helm of Bain Capital.

  • Rebecca Kaplan On Twitter»

    Rebecca Kaplan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

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