Perry out, Gingrich under fire
Texas Governor Rick Perry has abandoned his presidential bid and endorsed fellow hard-right conservative Newt Gingrich (pictured), just two days before the pivotal South Carolina primary.
Both Perry and Gingrich are noted for their anti-gay views.
Perry, who has been trailing far behind in the race told the press he was making "a strategic retreat.”
It's reported Perry faced calls to drop out of the race in order to unite right-wing voters behind Gingrich, who is challenging the leading candidate, the less-conservative Mitt Romney.
He called Gingrich “a conservative visionary who can transform our country” and added, “Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?”
Gingrich himself is caught in a mounting controversy with his ex-wife Marianne telling the US television network ABC that the "family values" politician had asked her for an open marriage. She claimed that when she refused, Gingrich divorced her so he could marry his then-lover and now third wife, Callista.
She said she was surprised he could carry on such an affair and yet address political meetings and talk about God and families and values.
"How could he ask me for a divorce on Monday and within 48 hours give a speech on family values and talk about how people treat people?" she asked.
Gingrich has angrily denied ever asking for an open marriage, saying his ex-wife's allegations were "as close to despicable as anything I can imagine."