Rick Perry Exits Stage Right, Will Endorse Gingrich

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With his poll numbers in a steady decline ever since a triumphal entrance to the race, the Texas governor bows out and will endorse a rival.

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Five months riding into the GOP nomination race on a wave of enthusiasm, Gov. Rick Perry will be moseying back to Texas, CNN broke. He is expected to hold a presser at 11 a.m. during which he drop out of the race on the eve of the South Carolinian primary and throw his weight behind fellow anti-Romney Newt Gingrich, acccording to Politico. Like Jon Huntsman who dropped out himself two days ago, Perry's flailing candidacy had fallen behind that of comedian Stephen Colbert in Public Policy Polling's numbers in South Carolina released yesterday. Perry's dropping out comes after a week of calls from his once-strong supporters -- including South Caroline State Sen. Larry Grooms and Red State editor Erick Erickson -- to call it quits and "start his image rehab now by becoming a 'kingmaker' in the GOP race," reports The Daily Beast's Patricia Murphy.

Image: Chris Keane / Reuters

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