Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended his campaign for president today and endorsed Newt Gingrich as the best conservative to take on President Obama in the fall. "I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country," Perry said at a news conference in South Carolina, just two days before the state's primary. Perry said Gingrich is "not perfect" but "has the heart of a conservative reformer" and "the ability to rally and captivate the conservative movement." Perry's decision to suspend his campaign leaves just four major candidates vying for the GOP nomination. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman suspended his campaign on Monday.Meanwhile, Newt and Mitt are neck and neck in South Carolina, as Gingrich and Romney, along with Old Guy Howling At the Moon and Mr. "I hate gays and contraception!" will be going at it again tonight as there's going to be another attempt to take Romney down a peg before the big vote on Saturday night. Can Gingrich pull up the upset and drag this freakshow onto Florida, or will Romney all but secure the nomination on the 21st?
Meanwhile, back in Iowa: Remember when Romney won the Caucus by a mere 8 votes? The votes have been counted and it's been confirmed - Rick Santorum won by 34 votes!
Former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) officially won the Iowa caucuses Thursday — 16 days after the last vote was cast — when state GOP officials said a final count showed him 34 votes ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.Personally, this really doesn't matter much: Unless the Bain Capital story buries him, Romney will be the GOP nominee. Newt dragging this fight further not only hurts the party to further take what he probably feels is his turn to lead the Party, but it's giving the Democrats plenty of ammo for the General Election. Oh, hell, what am I saying? Continue to bicker and fight until you reach Tampa for the RNC Expo, please!
That was a shift from the preliminary results announced after the Jan. 3 caucuses, which showed Romney winning Iowa by eight votes.
State officials said they still had not received any results from eight of the state’s 1,774 precincts. But now, they said, it was too late for the missing votes to count.
“It’s done,” said a party spokesman, who asked that his name not be used. About the missing votes, he said: “We never got ’em. We tried to track ’em down, and for whatever reason, we don’t have them.”