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Perry drops out, backs Gingrich

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry today dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsed Newt Gingrich, adding a fresh layer of unpredictability to the campaign two days before the South Carolina primary.

‘‘Newt’s not perfect, but who among us is?’’ Perry said. He called the former House speaker a ‘‘conservative visionary’’ best suited to replace Barack Obama in the White House.

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