Herman Cain Endorses Newt Gingrich

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain endorsed Newt Gingrich for the GOP nomination at a dinner in Florida on Saturday night.

In his endorsement, Cain praised Gingrich as a “patriot” and someone who “is not afraid of bold ideas.”

“I am inspired, you are inspired and Speaker Gingrich is inspired,” the New York Post quoted Cain as saying. “It’s not about us, it’s about the grandkids.”

The endorsement comes three days before Florida holds it primary vote and could prove to a turning point in the campaign. Cain, who suspended his campaign in mid December over allegations of sexual harassment and marital infidelity, brings heavy support from the Tea Party. More than 100 leaders from smaller groups representing the conservative movement have banded together to form a political action committee to back Gingrich.

The two Republicans held a series of Lincoln-Douglas styled debates in early November, and appeared then to have developed a relationship. It was rumored that one would pick the other as their running mate, should he win the GOP nomination.

Cain’s endorsement still comes as a surprise, after the pizza mogul refused to back anyone two weeks ago during the South Carolina primary. “Here is my unconventional endorsement,” he said at the time. “Not a candidate seeking the nomination. Not someone that’s not running. My unconventional endorsement is the people! We the people of this nation are still in charge.”

Herman Cain is the second former candidate to back Gingrich. When Texas Governor Rick Perry backed the House Speaker when he ended his campaign just before the South Carolina primary.

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