WASHINGTON — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal endorsed Rick Perry for president on Monday, calling the Texas governor "the candidate who can lead our party to victory in 2012."
Jindal and Perry announced the endorsement ahead of Monday night's GOP presidential debate in Tampa, Fla. — and just hours after former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty endorsed Mitt Romney, Perry's most significant rival for the Republican nomination.
Jindal praised Perry's job creation record as Texas governor, the central message of Perry's campaign.
"The 1 million jobs he's helped create as governor is a stark contrast to the 2.4 million jobs lost on President Obama's watch," Jindal said in a statement.
Jindal's support makes sense: He's a fellow southern governor who has worked with Perry in the wake of natural disasters affecting their neighboring states. And the pick gives Perry support from a prominent Republican who has been considered a possible presidential contender in the past.
Announcing Jindal's support Monday afternoon also allowed Perry to square off with Romney ahead of their planned faceoff in Florida. Pawlenty, who dropped out of the presidential race in August, announced Monday morning that he would back the former Massachusetts governor's presidential bid.
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.