Perry endorses Romney after Gingrich signals an exit

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Perry, who aborted his presidential bid in January after a series of debate gaffes sent his poll numbers into a freefall, went on to praise Romney's biography.

"American jobs, economic stability and national security depend on electing a new president. 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 said.

Perry was one of the last prominent holdouts to announce support for Romney, opting instead to stay pledged to Gingrich while the former Speaker remained in the race. Other Gingrich supporters, including fellow former presidential hopeful Herman Cain, had signaled that they were coalescing around Romney.

Romney and Perry shared some of the primary campaign's most bitter moments, with Perry accusing the eventual nominee of flip-flopping and Romney's campaign saying Perry had resorted to "dishonest tactics in order to prop up his flailing campaign."

While Perry struck a supportive tone in his statement Wednesday, he might not be rooting too hard for Romney to succeed. The governor said as recently as last week that he is interested in running for president again in 2016.

“Yeah, I am. I love this country. As long as my health stays good, as it is, and my family is supportive, I’m certainly going to give it a good examination," Perry told CBS.