NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Republican presidential contest took a series of unexpected twists Thursday as Texas Gov. Rick Perry quit the race and endorsed Newt Gingrich, while officials in Iowa declared that former senator Rick Santorum had in fact won more votes than front-runner Mitt Romney in the caucuses there two weeks earlier.Read the rest here.
The developments struck a blow to Romney, who just days ago appeared poised to lock up the Republican nomination by the end of the month. But on the morning of a potentially decisive debate in Charleston, the race was suddenly in flux. Gingrich seemed to be enjoying a sudden burst of momentum — drawing huge crowds, getting new endorsements and ticking upward in multiple polls — while Santorum laid claim to the Iowa caucuses as a victory.
But Gingrich faced his own setback Thursday after his former wife, Marianne, gave an interview to The Washington Post describing her husband’s infidelity. He is also expected to release his tax returns later Thursday, a move designed to pressure Romney to release his own, which Romney has said he will not do until April.
See more on Santorum's Iowa win here. Read the story on Gingrich's ex-wife here (caution: salacious details).