Perry endorses Romney

Remember the kerfuffles over book editions and “vulture capitalism”?  Water under the bridge.  Rick Perry announced his endorsement of Mitt Romney last night, after confirming with Newt Gingrich that his campaign will roll to a stop next Tuesday:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry endorsed likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday after campaign aides to Newt Gingrich, whom he endorsed earlier, confirmed he plans to end his bid next week.

Perry, who also ran for the nomination but ended his campaign in January, said in a statement: “Mitt Romney has earned the Republican presidential nomination through hard work, a strong organization, and a disciplined message of restoring America after nearly four years of failed, job-killing policies from President Obama and his administration.

“ … Mitt’s vision and record of private-sector success will put America back on the path of job creation, economic opportunity, and limited government.”

Of course, this wasn’t unexpected.  The different candidates will end up getting behind Romney, as soon as they negotiate a new relationship with the nominee’s campaign.  Rick Santorum plans to meet with Romney next week, and Gingrich’s team has hinted that they will be ready to formally endorse Romney when Gingrich officially suspends his campaign, reflecting perhaps a level of behind-the-scenes communication that may have been taking place for longer than just the last two days.

Perry still carries considerable influence in the GOP and remains a popular figure, even after his stumbles last fall.  The Texas governor has considerable organizing and fundraising prowess, and would be a valuable resource to tap as the party unites.  Having won his current term less than two years ago and with the state legislature out of session over the summer, Perry might provide Romney a real shot in the arm as the RNC/Romney team heads toward the convention.

Assuming that Perry’s back troubles and need for pain medication have eased, he might also be a good choice for running mate.  Romney could use Perry’s success in job growth and his credentials as someone who has been fighting Obama over federal encroachment.  The endorsement could clear the way to put Perry on the short list.

Update: On the other hand, maybe Romney won’t need all that much help with fundraising:

Mitt Romney’s fundraising has skyrocketed since he became the de facto nominee, a top Romney fundraiser told The Hill Wednesday evening.

“People are coming out of the woodwork,” said the fundraiser, who requested not to be named. “A number of my friends who didn’t want to get involved in the primary are now coming off the sidelines for the general election.” …

“This all started when we signed the contract with the RNC — that’s when the general election really began for us,” the fundraiser said. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm out there — I can in a week’s time raise $1 million for an event.”

They’re gearing up fast at Team Romney.

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