West Palm Beach
Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, at an event in West Palm Beach Saturday, endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for president. He said: "I hereby officially and enthusiastically endorse Newt Gingrich for president."
Cain, whose presidential campaign ended in December after a series of damaging allegations of sexual misconduct, said at the Republican fundraiser in Florida: “Speaker Gingrich is a patriot. Speaker Gingrich is not afraid of bold ideas."
Some pundits say Cain's endorsement may help Gingrich, because he is a favorite among grassroots conservatives. CBS News comments, however, that Cain's endorsement "may have lost its luster after nearly two months out off the campaign trail."
The endorsement comes three days before the Florida primary.
CBS News reports Cain, who had only recently said he would only endorse "the people," announced on Saturday: "I had it in my heart and mind a long time ago...Speaker Gingrich is a patriot, Speaker Gingrich is not afraid of bold ideas, and I also know that Speaker Gingrich is...going through this sausage grinder. I know what this sausage grinder is all about. I know that he's going through this sausage grinder because he cares about the future of the United States of America."
Cain's endorsement of Gingrich comes at a time the former House Speaker is losing grounds to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in Florida after two presidential debates and sustained attacks from Romney campaign. Reuters reports that a Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Saturday showed Romney with an 11 percent lead over Gingrich. According to the poll, Romney has the support of 43 percent of likely voters and Gingrich 32 percent, compared to 41 percent and 33 percent on Friday.
Romney: Gingrich is like GoldilocksThe Washington Post reports that Romney raised issues about Gingrich's trustworthiness in a recent debate, and said he lacks leadership skills. He likened Gingrich to "Goldilocks." Romney told supporters at the Pensacola restaurant on Saturday morning: “We’ve had about 18 debates so far. They’re getting more and more fun as time goes on. This last one, Speaker Gingrich said he didn’t do so well because the audience was so loud. The one before, he said he didn’t do so well because the audience was too quiet. This is like Goldilocks, you know, you’ve got to get it just right.”
The Washington Post reports Gingrich told reporters in Port St. Lucie that no matter the outcome of voting on Tuesday he would continue fighting. He said: "I will go all the way to the convention. I expect to win the nomination. You just had two national polls that show me ahead. Why don't you ask Governor Romney what he will do if he loses since he is behind in both national polls?"
Reuters comments Gingrich's statement indicates he will not give up if he loses Florida, indicating a long drawn battle for the GOP nomination.
Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, coming up in the polls behind Romney and Gingrich, canceled campaign events in Florida scheduled for Sunday after his 3-year-old daughter, Isabella, ill with a genetic disorder, was admitted to hospital in Philadelphia.
Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley, said Santorum will return to Florida and resume his campaign as soon as possible.