Texas Governor Rick Perry has ended his bid for the presidency, and has announced he will endorse Newt Gingrich to challenge President Obama, USA Today is reporting. The announcement comes after he started his campaign with high expectations and at the top of Republican polls. However, after poor performances at several debates, he never recovered in the polls, despite earning more than $17 million.
Perry’s spokesman, Ray Sullivan, said the governor called Gingrich with the news about an hour before he announced his withdrawal at a news conference. Gingrich has said he’s humbled by Perry’s endorsement. The withdrawal comes days before the South Carolina primary, which will be held on January 21, 2012.
Perry said there was no viable path for him to win the GOP nomination. But he said he’s “resolute to remain in the service of my country. We must rise to the occasion and elect a conservative champion to put our country back on track.”
Gingrich and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum will act as the conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who has been leading in South Carolina and national polls. The two are fighting for social conservative and evangelical voters, who make up a major component of South Carolina’s Republican electorate.
Texas Representative Ron Paul also remains the race for the Republican nomination. He has a passionate following from libertarian-oriented supporters who like his stands on the economy and foreign policy.
Written by: Karen Benardello