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Trump endorses Romney instead of Gingrich

6:25 PM, Feb 2, 2012   |    comments
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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) and Donald Trump shake hands during a news conference held by Trump to endorse Romney for president at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas February 2, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Romney came in first in the Florida primary on January 31 and is looking ahead to Nevada's caucus on February 4. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Donald Trump is endorsing Mitt Romney for president -- saying Romney is "not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country we all love."

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The reality show host and real estate mogul appeared with Romney and his wife today at the Las Vegas hotel that bears Trump's name.

Romney said he was honored to receive the endorsement, but hoped even more to win the endorsement of Nevada voters. The state holds presidential caucuses Saturday.

Until a few hours before the announcement, there were indications that Trump was going to endorse Newt Gingrich instead. Gingrich's campaign even leaked word that Trump would support the former House speaker.

But Trump says he decided to endorse Romney after several meetings with him during the past several months.

Gingrich today said he wouldn't be getting Trump's endorsement -- and that he was amazed at the attention Trump was getting.

As Trump publicly considered a presidential run of his own last year, he briefly surged to the top of the polls -- even as he stirred controversy by questioning the validity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate.

Obama dismissed Trump as a "carnival barker."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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