Herman Cain endorsed Newt Gingrich for president in West Palm Beach Saturday, calling him the right person to address the “crisis of leadership in the White House.”
“I hereby officially and enthusiastically endorse Newt Gingrich for president of the United States,” Cain told the cheering crowd here. “Speaker Gingrich is a patriot. Speaker Gingrich is not afraid of bold ideas. And I also know that Speaker Gingrich is running for president and going through this sausage-grinder– I know what this sausage-grinder is all about. I know he is going through this sausage-grinder because he cares about the future of the United States of America.”
Cain’s support is a welcome development for Gingrich at a moment when his Florida campaign is working to regain traction. Cain had a decent-sized following in the Sunshine State before he dropped out of the 2012 race, and the endorsement will certainly draw plenty of free-media airtime.
How sizable Cain’s following is now – after a fairly ignominious withdrawal from the campaign – is another question. Many of Cain’s voters may already have settled on an alternative candidate without the former pizza executive’s help.
Cain joins something of a rogues’ gallery of ex-presidential candidates to back Gingrich in recent days: Rick Perry and Fred Thompson have also gotten on board with his campaign. And while Sarah Palin hasn’t exactly endorsed Gingrich, the 2008 vice presidential nominee has made supportive comments about him on television and urged South Carolinians to vote for him in order to keep the primary going.
All that adds up to quite a bit of conservative signaling on Gingrich’s behalf. If voters on the right fail to coalesce behind him on Tuesday’s primary, it won’t be because no one told them to.