Perry puts S.C. campaign events on hold

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 1:06 AM
Last updated 3:35 AM
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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday that he would postpone his South Carolina events – including stops today in Aiken and North Augusta – to return to Texas and consider whether there was a viable strategy for him to restart his campaign in the state.

He had planned to participate in Aiken’s Main Street Walk and a town hall meeting and a meet-and-greet in North Augusta.

“With the voters’ decision tonight in Iowa, I decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight’s caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race,” Perry said, his family standing behind him.

Perry’s advisers tried to paint the first contest in the South as the real start to his strategy and braced for a lackluster performance in the Iowa caucuses, which typically winnows the field of presidential hopefuls.

“With a little prayer and reflection, I’m going to decide the best past forward,” he said. “But I want to tell you, there’s been no greater joy in my life than to be able to share with the people of Iowa and this country that there is a model to take this country forward and it is in the great state of Texas.”

Perry, who described himself as a reluctant White House hopeful, began the day acknowledging his campaign’s challenges. He badly trailed his rivals in pre-caucus polls; the final Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night had him at just 11 percent support and trailing the four rivals who would best him.

His rivals had the advantage of several months or more to organize their campaigns. His entry in August came the same day his rivals competed in the Ames straw poll, an early test vote that lets each candidate’s political machine have a trial run. Perry bypassed it and instead made a splash, announcing his candidacy in South Carolina and overshadowing the straw poll winner, Michele Bachmann.

Yet the on-ground organizing never came together for Perry in the short months of his campaign. Instead, he leaned on television ads and glossy mailers, a bus tour that took him to rural towns where he could practice the hand-to-hand campaigning in which he excels.

Even before Iowans met Tuesday night at churches and schools to signal their preferences, Perry was downplaying the role of the traditional lead-off states.

“The idea that one or two states is going to decide who the next nominee for the Republican Party is just, you know, that’s not reality,” Perry told CNN.

Perry’s team put on hold events in South Carolina for Wednesday while he went to Austin with his family and tight inner-circle.

“The votes are the votes, and we’re still early in the night so we’ll wait and see in the morning what it looks like,” he told Fox News Channel from an election night party that was slow to fill with supporters.

The Texas governor and former Air Force pilot compared the caucuses to a military campaign as he sought to give his volunteers an early morning jolt.

“This is Concord. This is Omaha Beach,” he said. “This is going up the hill, realizing that the battle is worthy. This is about sacrifice. Every man and woman has sacrificed your time, your treasure, your reputation.

“But you’re doing it out of love for this country,” he continued. “That is what gets us up every day, gives us the courage, the fortitude, the focus to go do what we have done for the last almost six months.”

Comments (13) Add comment
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shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 01/04/12 - 03:35 am
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He should stay in until the

He should stay in until the SC primary. He just messed up by going to Austin.
I would have given him a better than average shot at winning SC but now he can forget about it. People don't like candidates that give up after so easily. I mean come on man it was a caucus. At least see how you do in an actual primary.

painfully honest
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painfully honest 01/04/12 - 06:19 am
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We are certainly going to
Unpublished

We are certainly going to miss his intelligence. He would have been the second coming of old "Dubyah".

seenitB4
98428
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seenitB4 01/04/12 - 06:53 am
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I agree shrimp....ya gotta

I agree shrimp....ya gotta have that "staying" power...he just doesn't want it this year....

Riverman1
94198
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Riverman1 01/04/12 - 07:10 am
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Sorry, SeenIt. Too many

Sorry, SeenIt. Too many weaknesses surfaced with him.

seenitB4
98428
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seenitB4 01/04/12 - 07:14 am
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Yep....river.....ya

Yep....river.....ya right.....:(

rmwardsr
525
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rmwardsr 01/04/12 - 07:46 am
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He is definitely showing

He is definitely showing signs of weakness, wanting to cut and run back home. He would have done much better to come on down to South Carolina and make some public apparances, shake some hands, kiss a few babies, and help a couple old ladies cross the street. Trophy wives and governorships do not count for everything.

Jake
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Jake 01/04/12 - 10:26 am
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The Iowa Republicans were not

The Iowa Republicans were not ready for his rapier sharp intellect and size 12 boots with caked manure on the bottom.

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 01/04/12 - 10:26 am
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Anita Perry is a very likable

Anita Perry is a very likable person, and would be a great asset to his campaign. He has never been my choice of a presidential candidate, though I can certainly see how they have charmed Texans.

Little Lamb
49245
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Little Lamb 01/04/12 - 11:22 am
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Perry's strategy might work.

Perry's strategy might work. The "anybody but a Mormon" crowd is fickle. First they had Michelle Bachman far out ahead, but the ABAM voters turned from her to Rick Perry. Then they left him for Herman Cain. The next candidate to pick up the fluid ABAM voters was Newt Gingrich, only to see them swarm over to Rick Santorum on caucus night.

What's likely to happen is that the cycle could begin again. Bachman will surge to the top with the support of the ABAM voters in South Carolina. She will invariably fade, and that leaves Rick Perry to surge to the top on Super Tuesday. He doesn't need South Carolina. Keep your eye on Super Tuesday.

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 01/04/12 - 02:43 pm
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Michelle is out of money;

Michelle is out of money; it's been over for her for awhile. Where's Cain and who is he supporting?

Little Lamb
49245
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Little Lamb 01/04/12 - 03:16 pm
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Speaking of being out of

Speaking of being out of money, guess who else is coming up short? Do you remember when Newt was acting all high and mighty in Iowa saying that he was not going to stoop to the level of his opponents by running attack ads? Well, he didn't have the money to mount a TV ad campaign.

Michelle may be low on cash, but she's got enough to limp into South Carolina. It will be her time to gain ascendancy again. It's a roller coaster ride for the ABAM voters. Their candidates are the tracks.

justthefacts
25463
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justthefacts 01/04/12 - 03:20 pm
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LL, you do know that MB has

LL, you do know that MB has dropped out...right?

Little Lamb
49245
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Little Lamb 01/04/12 - 03:46 pm
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I had not heard that. That's

I had not heard that. That's too bad, because Santorum will be wilting soon and she could have ascended.

Boston93
117
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Boston93 01/05/12 - 09:41 am
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I think the news media should

I think the news media should be running. They (Rove/Morris/Limbaugh/others) have all the answers before the questions are asked. It's great to get the news, but same story over and over and over is getting to this Republican. I've tried to find a democrat for Obama and as of today I've only found one. Are they hiding. Where are all the poll numbers coming from? I think most are made up and I am sick of polls that change every hour that confuses many Americans. The democrats in the news continues to use MOST AMERICAN'S comment. How many is that ? I have one democrat friend, but he doesn't vote so that doesn't count for anything. The democrats are trying to get the college students aboard and I've seen on TV where they don't even know who our present President or VP is, yet they want them to vote. American's best wake up and now before we flop from the top.

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