Herman Cain endorses Newt Gingrich for president

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He may be dropping in the polls in Florida and lacking in establishment GOP support, but Newt Gingrich has one thing he can brag about going into Tuesday’s primary: the support of The Hermanator.

Herman Cain unveiled his support for the former House speaker’s presidential bid on Saturday, the final day of early voting in the sunshine state, telling the crowd at a West Palm Beach rally that Gingrich is the man to address what Cain called a “crisis of leadership in the White House.”

According to Politico:

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Gingrich thanked Cain and said he’d be a part of a commission on “jobs, economic growth and taxes” should Gingrich become president. He promised that Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan would be part of the national conversation.

Cain exited the presidential race in November amid allegations he sexually harassed women when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, and that he carried on an extramarital affair with a Georgia woman. After leaving the race, Cain initially said he wouldn’t endorse one of his formal rivals, instead offering an “unconventional endorsement” of the American people” during an event with comedian Stephen Colbert ahead of the January 21 South Carolina primary.

Apparently, Cain had a change of heart.

Gingrich has been dogged by his past history with women, too. He left his first wife while she was recovering from cancer surgery, and his second wife, Marianne, alleged he asked her to accept an open marriage, so that he could continue an eight-year affair with his now third wife, Callista.

It’s not clear whether the endorsement from Cain will help Gingrich regain momentum in Florida (though it’s unlikely to improve Gingrich’s standing with women voters.) Cain won the non-binding Florida straw poll last fall, and like Gingrich, is popular with Tea Party groups.

The latest polls show former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney opening up a solid lead over Gingrich in Florida ahead of Tuesday’s vote.