Soon after news broke Thursday afternoon that many of Newt Gingrich's top aides had jumped ship, Tim Pawlenty's campaign announced that they had scored a big catch: Gingrich's former national campaign co-chair.

When former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue went to bed Wednesday night, he was still in charge of Gingrich's campaign. By Thursday, he had been hired to join Pawlenty's "national efforts."

"Tim Pawlenty is a great man, he was a phenomenal governor, and he is the person I now believe stands the greatest chance of defeating President Obama," Perdue said in a Pawlenty campaign press release. "He is the only candidate who has laid out a real plan to grow the American economy, and his track record in Minnesota is proof he's the right man for the job."

As if no grudge was held against Perdue for picking Gingrich's team first, Pawlenty said in a statement, "I am thrilled Governor Perdue is joining my campaign. He is revered among governors as a thoughtful, sincere man whose faith, character and passion for good policy is second to none."

Pawlenty continued, "He's a dear friend and with his help we're going to continue to build momentum to win the nomination and ultimately the presidency."

Fox News' Amanda Marshall contributed to this report.