01/23/2012 09:45 pm ET Updated Jan 24, 2012

Fred Thompson Endorses Newt Gingrich Ahead Of Florida Primary (VIDEO)

Fred Thompson, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination during the 2008 election cycle, endorsed Newt Gingrich in this year's GOP primary race on Monday night.

Thompson declared his support for the former House Speaker during an appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News program. The announcement came as Gingrich -- along with Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul -- were participating in a debate in Florida.

"I have come to the growing realization that Newt Gingrich is the guy who can articulate what America is all about," Thompson said.

Thompson served as a Republican U.S. senator from Tennessee from 1994 through 2003. He has also held acting roles on NBC's TV show "Law & Order" and a number of action movies.

After failing to gain traction in early primary states in 2008, Thompson abandoned his presidential campaign and later threw his support behind eventual nominee John McCain.

This is a developing story... More information to come...