WASHINGTON (AP) Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has endorsed Rick Perry for president, calling the Texas governor the candidate who can lead our party to victory in 2012.

Jindal and Perry announced the endorsement ahead of tonight'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.

Jindal'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.

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