Rick Perry drops out of presidential race, backs Newt Gingrich

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 9:34 AM
Last updated 7:41 PM
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination and endorsed Newt Gingrich, adding a fresh layer of unpredictability to the campaign two days before the South Carolina primary.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry pauses while announcing he is suspending his presidential campaign. He endorsed Newt Gingrich, calling the former House speaker a "conservative visionary."  DAVID GOLDMAN/STAFF
DAVID GOLDMAN/STAFF
Texas Gov. Rick Perry pauses while announcing he is suspending his presidential campaign. He endorsed Newt Gingrich, calling the former House speaker a "conservative visionary."

“Newt’s not perfect, but who among us is?” Perry said. He called the former House speaker a “conservative visionary” best suited to replace Barack Obama in the White House.

While the ultimate impact of Perry’s decision was unclear, it reduced the number of conservative challengers to Mitt Romney. The decision also reinforced the perception that Gingrich is the candidate on the move in the final hours of the South Carolina campaign, and that front-runner Romney is struggling to hold onto his lead there.

Perry had scarcely finished speaking when Gingrich issued a statement welcoming the endorsement. “I ask the supporters of Governor Perry to look at my record of balancing the budget, cutting spending, reforming welfare, and enacting pro-growth policies to create millions of new jobs and humbly ask for their vote,” Gingrich said.

Romney reacted by praising Perry for running “a campaign based upon love of country and conservative principles” and saying he “has earned a place of prominence as a leader in our party.”

Perry said he decided to suspend his campaign after concluding “there is no viable path forward for me.”

Spokesman Ray Sullivan said money was also a factor: “We have spent the bulk of our funds.” Perry chose to drop out before Saturday’s primary because he wanted to “respect” the state’s voters by giving them a choice among other candidates, Sullivan said.

Perry made his decision Wednesday night and began telling staff and supporters, Sullivan said. The Texas governor called Gingrich with the news Thursday morning to inform the former House speaker of his endorsement.

Sullivan wouldn’t say whether Perry intended to hurt Romney but noted that Perry and Gingrich have a long-standing relationship and said Perry is enthusiastic about the possibility of a Gingrich presidency. But Perry will support the candidate who wins the Republican nomination, Sullivan said.

Perry’s exit marked the end of a campaign that began with soaring expectations but quickly faded. He shot to the head of the public opinion polls when he announced his candidacy last summer, but a string of poor debate performances and campaign flubs soon led to a decline in support.

His defining moment came during one debate when he inexplicably could not recall one of three federal agencies he had pledged to abolish. He joked about it afterward, telling reporters, “I stepped in it,” but never recovered from the fumble.

Also problematic for conservative supporters: Perry’s support of a Texas policy to allow children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates and his 2007 order to require schoolgirls in Texas to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, an order later overturned by state lawmakers.

Perry also risked backlash from elderly voters after calling Social Security a fraud and a “Ponzi scheme.” He said the popular federal retirement program for seniors was financially unsustainable and pledged to retool it if elected president.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor considered the more moderate candidate in the race, has benefited thus far from having Perry and several other conservative challengers competing for the same segment of voters. New polls show Romney leading in South Carolina but Gingrich gaining steam heading into Saturday’s contest in a state where conservatives hold great sway in choosing the GOP nominee.

Perry’s decision to endorse Gingrich does not necessarily mean conservatives will rally behind the former House speaker. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, an anti-abortion champion, is still in the race and last weekend was endorsed by a group of evangelical Christian leaders.

And there is no guarantee the Texas donors who fueled Perry’s bid will shift to Gingrich, even if the governor asks them to.

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Chillen
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Chillen 01/19/12 - 10:06 am
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The conservative vote is

The conservative vote is starting to come together. Not good for Romney.

seenitB4
93942
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seenitB4 01/19/12 - 10:09 am
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I knew this was coming but

I knew this was coming but I'm not happy.....if only he could debate...& if he had Chris Christie as VP ......not meant to be & I don't think he ever really wanted the job ...heck...some on here could do a better job on stage than he did..,

Jake
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Jake 01/19/12 - 10:28 am
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I'll miss the laughs.

I'll miss the laughs.

my.voice
5092
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my.voice 01/19/12 - 10:58 am
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Newts a conservative?

Newts a conservative?

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 01/19/12 - 11:12 am
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are we still going to bother

are we still going to bother having a primary?

12barblues
238
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12barblues 01/19/12 - 11:43 am
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I have a feeling things about

I have a feeling things about to turn really nasty. The White House has gotta be loving this!

phillyfanatic
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phillyfanatic 01/19/12 - 12:16 pm
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I suggest that one thinks

I suggest that one thinks first here. ABC and the MSM wanted to take out Mitt and Newt all at once. They want Bama to win , period. Newt is not running for hubby of the year but Prez......was that not what Dems always say???? People have forgiven FDR, JFK, and other assorted Kennedys, LBJ, MLK, Clinton,Rangel, Jesse Jackson but ....the MSM does not want any Pub, conserv, to be forgiven. Has Newt repented? He and his priest say YES> Perhaps , as fair voters, we should too say yes. And remember, he has the best solutions for the mess that Bama and Reid has made worse in 3 plus years.

Sweet son
11104
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Sweet son 01/19/12 - 12:21 pm
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When the GOP primaries and

When the GOP primaries and other political wrangling are over we have to vote for their candidate because we can't let that other thing win another term. Best thing going is that if the GOP wins the presidency all of the troubles can be blamed on Obama. George W Bush's name has been used a lot since he left office!

justthefacts
24084
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justthefacts 01/19/12 - 01:25 pm
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Hey Jake, don't fret. We

Hey Jake, don't fret. We still have the VP around for another year. "Vice President Joe Biden had his “oops” moment Wednesday speaking in a 49er-crazed San Francisco when he told a crowd at a city political fundraiser that “the Giants are on their way to the Super Bowl.”

Jake
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Jake 01/19/12 - 04:13 pm
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I read that as well. I think

I read that as well. I think he was being prophetic. Wrong crowd.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 01/20/12 - 09:52 am
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Nothing could have been any

Nothing could have been any nastier than Hillary and Barack slinging their trash at each other.

All of them want to be president and ANY one of them including Cain, Bachman and Huntsman would make a superior president to what we currently have. After the primaries, they will all rally around the winner and try to take our country back from this marxist/socialist rule.

madgerman
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madgerman 01/20/12 - 10:03 am
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I believe they are all true
Unpublished

I believe they are all true christians who believe in the nine commandments. Don't you just love Newts former wife and her statements in public about this true christian?

Chillen
17
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Chillen 01/20/12 - 10:32 am
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madgerman. What did you

madgerman. What did you expect an ex wife to say? That he's the greatest man around and she loves him to death? Divorce is a bitter, personal event. I'm sure she was paid hundreds of thousands for her "story".

I thoroughly enjoyed Newt's dressing down of the CNN moderator last night. Watching him sweat it out was poetic. He and CNN deserved it. Newt was 100% right. They are out to get all the Republicans in order to get obama re-elected. It's nice someone got a national forum to call them out on it.

I wonder if during the obama and Republican nominee debate they'll open up by asking obama questions about his marxist friends, Solyndra or about the rumors about him being gay and only being in a marriage of political convenience (like the Clintons).

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 01/20/12 - 10:52 am
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Good Morning Chillen, I just

Good Morning Chillen, I just wonder how many DIVORCED people on here are commenting on Newt's. What would their exes say about them?

Will those democratic news makers ever learn, they are no match for Newt. He will slay them on the spot.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 01/20/12 - 10:55 am
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Also, Chillen, did you see

Also, Chillen, did you see that female CNN correspondent with Santorum following the debate last night. Pretty interesting that he got so much extra time to air his jabs at Romney and Newt. They wouldn't be trying to drive the nomination would they?

Sweet son
11104
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Sweet son 01/20/12 - 11:56 am
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@chillen, just saw a clip of

@chillen, just saw a clip of Newt thrashing the CNN correspondent. Lauhed my tail off! Go Newt!

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 01/20/12 - 12:36 pm
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Moses comes down from the

Moses comes down from the mountain with the tablets and addresses the Israelites:

“Foyst the good nues, I was able to keep Him down to Ten”!

“Now the bad nues, the one’s about adultery and wife coveting are still in”!

“I know you’re all verklempt and so am I.”

“Oy Vey”!

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 01/20/12 - 01:03 pm
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Traditional [Open] Marriage

Traditional [Open] Marriage is between a man, his wife, and his mistress.

Newt could have sought a ménage à trois but he showed his conservative bonar fides by not doing so.

Newt is Berlusconi without the million dollar electro-pump but I bet he can get one at Tiffany’s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flm4xcOyiCo&feature=fvwrel

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 01/20/12 - 02:04 pm
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bj, Yes, Newt likes a little

bj, Yes, Newt likes a little CHANGE doesn't he? Fortunately, the kind of change he indulged in doesn't erode America's liberties, undermine our economy, or threaten our survival as a strong, free and independent nation. On the other hand THAT change being brought to America by the CIC Marxist Obama gurantees a complete collapse of all that we were founded upon and hold dear, right down to our ability to feed ourselves. Frankly, I'd prefer that he switched his changes to changing wives. If he goes back into office, plant your garden and brush up on your chinese.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 01/20/12 - 02:28 pm
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Excellent post @ 2:04 Willow!

Excellent post @ 2:04 Willow! You hit the nail right on the head. I'd only add that you might need to brush up on your arabic too.

I didn't see the woman interviewing Santorum. I kind of like the guy though. Really, I like all 4 of the candidates who are left. They are 100+ times better than the mad marxist.

Just like Rick said in his cartoon "ANYBODY BUT OBAMA". I still think he should make some bumper stickers for us to slap on our cars.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 01/20/12 - 02:52 pm
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Thanks, Chillen, it's just

Thanks, Chillen, it's just insanity the things that they compare! And most all who are demonizing and talking about Newt, if not divorced, have cheated on their spouses.

And don't you love how suddenly marriage and God's covenants are used to support their agenda; yet they don't believe or support the very convenants that they have used.

augusta citizen
9955
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augusta citizen 01/20/12 - 06:11 pm
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Willow said, "And don't you

Willow said, "And don't you love how suddenly marriage and God's covenants are used to support their agenda; yet they don't believe or support the very covenants that they have used."

So very true.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 01/20/12 - 06:15 pm
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Yous guys crack me up. Chillo

Yous guys crack me up.

Chillo & Willow will be playing at the Comedy Club all week folks; remember to tip your waitress.

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