Washington (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich picked up the endorsement of former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer on Monday, giving him his most prominent surrogate to date in a state that Gingrich's campaign has billed as its "southern firewall."
"Speaker Newt Gingrich offers the best and most comprehensive plan to get America moving forward and that is why today I am announcing my full support for Speaker Gingrich ... a true conservative, a true patriot, and true leader," Bauer said in a statement.
The endorsement comes as Gingrich spends three days campaigning in the Palmetto State, hoping to position himself as the most credible conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Bauer served two terms as lieutenant governor and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010. He is currently eyeing a Congressional bid in the state's newly-created 7th District.
He backed Mike Huckabee during the 2008 presidential race and was a frequent presence at the former Arkansas governor's side throughout the campaign.
Bauer is easily one of the most recognizable South Carolina Republicans figures to endorse in the presidential race, but he also has a controversial history.
In 2006, he landed in the hospital after crashing the single engine plane he was piloting shortly after taking off from a rural airfield near Greenville.
That same year, he was pulled over by highway patrolman when he was clocked driving over 100 miles per hour in a state-owned car. He escaped without a ticket.
Bauer came to national prominence in 2010, when he ran for governor but lost in a hotly contested four-way Republican primary.
He stumbled early in his campaign when he compared needy people who receive government assistance to "stray animals" because "they breed" and "don't know any better." He later apologized for the remarks.
As the primary heated up later that summer, then-state Rep. Nikki Haley accused Bauer and his supporters of pushing rumors that Haley had engaged in two extramarital affairs.
Bauer denied the charge but called on Haley, now the governor, to take a lie-detector test to back up her denials about the affair allegations.
Oh wait! He left off, "A true, panderer, adulterer, lobbyist".
After running for political office for 17 years, and running for president for 8 years, we hardly knew you, Mittens. Buh, bye, you spineless flip flopping jellyfish.
Lt. Gov. Bauer should be a good addition to the Gingrich machine. He speaks the right language.
Given the Republican fixation on making Obama a one term president at any cost to the nation, you would think the GOP would come up with an electable candidate. So far they have come up with a group of clowns and Romney who is hated by the right-wingnuts that seem to call all the shots. The Republicans are in self-destruct mode this election cycle. The recent rise of Newt in the GOP race is a measure of the weakness of the other players. However, he is also onot electable because of his sleazy personal life as well as being K Street lobbyist who took $1.6 M in graft from Freddie Mac.
Gingrich – the other white guy. It plays well in SC.
And don't forget, Newt can come up with meaningless phrases like, "Socialist secular colonialist," better than any other republican. Lobbyist, ethics violator, adulterer, snake oil salesman, represent the core ideals of the right wingnuts. Go Newt, 2012!
Newt said he would not lie to American people??
Is his second wife one member of American people???
"Gingrich offers the best and most comprehensive plan to get America moving forward" – Between the uber expensive trips Europe and shopping sprees to Tiffany’s and the extra marital affairs.....please, he wouldn't have the time. Anyone so morally bankrupt does not deserve to be President.
If Gingrich is supposed to the smartest guy in the room, why is it that he said last week that if elected POTUS that he would continue to teach his class, but do it over the internet? Is the POTUS allowed to moonlight on a second full-time job? I don't think that it is specifically spelled out anywhere, but do we really want someone who does?
All these bigots in the teaparty should go start their own country somewhere else, somewhere far away, like Somalia
He's a lobbist. He couldn't even pretend to be faithful to his wife while she fought cancer. He was dishonored by the House of Representatives for unethical behavior. He's one of the people Republicans might choose to lead our Nation.
The modern conservative is only about greed, bigotry and fear. Newt is a good choice to represent those values.
newt will win the nomination but will lose to the president bucause newt has no hart plus OBAMA and his
staff is smarter than newt staff.
South Carolina: Too small to be a country, too big to be an insane asylum!
Bauer has zero credibility in a state that has nothing but windbags on Faux news. SC brags about its $125M surplus without mentioning a good portion of those cuts came from putting teachers out of work. Oh yeah. Winners.
MTATL67, seems to me that this entire country is morally corrupt. Don't just point the finger at Gingrich! Think about what has happened to our country. We walk over dying people in a Target store to buy merchandise. We pepper spray our citizens to get in the front of the line at Walmart's. How about killing your kid in order to go out dancing? Morally corrupt? Are you joking! Any where in Europe is expensive, been there lately? Tiffany sure beats Walmart's, don't you think? As for extra marital affairs. Ah, it seems to be rampant around the country. At least it was with women and not little boys.
The next time one of these states threatens to break away,and become their own country, let them. The percentage of nut cases makes makes this attractive to the rest of us. Their an embarassment to the rest of us, and good riddance.
Another piece of dreck from Peter Hamby. Laugh it up.
An endorsement from our lead-footed, cat-feeding, light-weight former Lt. Governor is a huge negative in South Carolina.
Newt, the guy went down in flames in last years GOP primary for governor.