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Newt Gingrich's campaign has added a big endorsement in the state of New Hampshire from the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, Joseph McQuaid. McQuaid writes that Gingrich has "innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership" that the Republican party needs:

Newt Gingrich is by no means the perfect candidate. But Republican primary voters too often make the mistake of preferring an unattainable ideal to the best candidate who is actually running. In this incredibly important election, that candidate is Newt Gingrich. He has the experience, the leadership qualities and the vision to lead this country in these trying times. He is worthy of your support on January 10.

Mitt Romney has been the clear front-runner in the Republican race, but according to an editorial board member from the Union Leader he wasn't even one the paper's final two choices. In an interview with CNN, Union Leader page editor Andrew Cline said the endorsement choices came down to Newt and Texas Governor Rick Perry. Romney's been campaigning heavily in New Hampshire, but recent polls have showed Gingrich slowly closing the gap between the two.

Politico reports Romney has been "assiduously" courting the paper leading up to the endorsement. Romney was even pictured at an event recently sitting with McQuaid. The Union Leader has long been critical of Romney. In his interview with CNN, Cline said the paper gave him a "fresh start" but ultimately it was Gingrich's pedigree that won him the endorsement. He called Romney, "a politician who wants to be liked," instead of Gingrich, who, "wants to be respected, who wants to actually accomplish - he has an agenda that he wants to set in place."

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