Rick Perry announced that he is suspending his presidential campaign, just days before the next Republican primary in South Carolina.
FOX News Radio's Rich Johnson reports:
Perry says his goal is to offer Republicans a unique perspective. An executive in a state with job growth and a bold conservative. But now he says his journey is over.
(Perry)"There is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign. Therefore today I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for President of the United States."
Perry calls Gingrich the conservative that can transform the country. Not perfect, but Perry asks who among us is.
In North Charleston, Rich Johnson, FOX News Radio
LISTEN to Perry's speech here:
Listen, thank you all for coming out. And particularly to my incredible staff that's here I just wanna say thanks to each of you for the work that you've done... you all were awesome, Nelson, thank you. It's just been real privilege to be able to learn and to grow under your work and as I stated numerous times during the campaign, this campaign's never been about the candidates. I ran for President because I love America. I love our people. I love our freedom. As a matter of fact this mission is greater than any one man.
As I have traveled across this great country starting here in Charleston and going to New Hampshire and to Iowa, California down into Florida, and numerous states in between obviously, and I discovered this tremendous purpose and resiliency of our people. They never lost hope despite the circumstances that we find ourselves in. They hadn't stopped believing the promise of America. They haven't stopped believing in the American dream. Americans are down, but we can never be counted out. We're too great of people for that. What's broken in America is not our people. It's our politics. And what we need in Washington is a place that is humbler. With a federal government that is smaller so that our people can live freer.
I entered this campaign offering a unique perspective... a Governor who had led a large state leading the nation in job creation, an executive leader who had implemented conservative principles, a son of tenant farmers who was born with little more than a good name, but who has experienced the great opportunity and freedom of this country. But I've never believed that the cause of conservatism is embodied by one individual. Our party, in the conservative philosophy, transcends any one individual. It's a movement of ideas that are greater than anyone of us and will live long past any of us in our lives.
As a former Air Force pilot I don't get confused. I know we can't lose track of the ultimate objective in carrying out our mission, and that objective is not only to defeat President Obama, but to replace him with a conservative leader who will bring about real change. Our country's hurting, make no mistake about that. Thirteen million people out of work, fifty million of our citizens on food stamps, fifteen trillion dollar national debt and growing. We need bold conservative leadership that will take on the entrenched interests and give the American people their country back. I've always believed the mission is greater than the man.
As I've contemplated the future of this campaign, I have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign. Therefore today I am suspending my campaign, and endorsing Newt Gingrich for President of the United States.
I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country. And we've had our differences which campaigns will inevitably have, and Newt is not perfect, but who among us is? The fact is, there is forgiveness for those who seek God, and I believe in the power of redemption for it is a central tenet of my Christian faith. I have no question that Newt Gingrich has the heart of the conservative reformer, the ability to rally and captivate the conservative movement, the courage to tell those Washington interests to take a hike, if that's what's in the best interest of our country.
As a Texan, I've never shyed away from a fight, particularly when I considered the cause to be righteous. But as someone who's always admired a great if not the greatest Texas Governor Sam Houston, I know when it's time to make a strategic retreat. So I will leave the trail, return home to Texas, wind down my 2012 campaign, and I will do so with pride knowing I gave fullu of myself of a cause worthy of this country.
As I head home, I do so with the love of my life by my side. A woman who makes every day good when she is there by me, and that's my wife Anita. Honey, thank you for all you've done. She has been an incredible patriot during this process. I also want to thank my son Griffin and his beautiful wife Meredith, Sydney who is not with us here today. But the fact is with a good wife, with three loving children, and a loving God who is in my life, things will be good no matter what I do.
I am proud of the policies we put forward to the American people and I believe that we provided the right path forward for our party and our nation. Overhaul Washington providing I think that the roadmap for that, proclaiming the Tenth Amendment and all the goodness of allowing the states to be more competitive in the local governments, creating energy and energy security, energy jobs and energy security, cutting spending, eliminating these unnecessary federal agencies, cutting taxes to that flat and simple twenty percent. And I'll continue to fight for these conservative reforms because the future of our country is at stake and the road we're traveling today, President Obama's road, is a very dangerous one.
I want to thank some wonderful individuals who I've come to know and admire and who've stood by my side and in the state... Katon Dawson thank you brother for all the work that you've done and the loyal, just being the loyal supporter that you have been. A strong and a good man in the United States Congress Mick Mulvaney, Ambassador Wilkins. I talked to all of them this morning and I just want to thank my supporters. The men and women who have come across the country to be here in South Carolina, that were in New Hampshire and Iowa. God bless you for loving your country for you know, for volunteering and being here and making a difference. In particular I want to say thanks to Governor Bobby Jindal who has just been a fabulous spokesperson. Steve Forbes who, as I know him more I admire him greatly, what a fabulous patriotic American and Governor Sam Brownback, Senator Jim Inhofe, Congresswoman Candice Miller, Sam Graves, Congressman Sam Graves... all just great Americans who we have come to have such great respect for and reflect their love of country.
And I wanna say a really special thanks, to three distinguished veterans who have joined me on the trail, Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton. Mike spent the last two days with us as we traveled across South Carolina. Navy Cross recipient Marcus Luttrell, thank you brother I appreciate you and Mel coming and being with us today, and my Christian brother who's up in Greenville and has traveled so many miles with me young Marine Captain Dan Moran. They truly represent what is best about America. Who give of so much of themselves and they have been uplifting for me, as a citizen, as the commander-in-chief of our Texas forces and again they are truly are my heroes.
You know, I began this race with a sense of calling. I felt led into the arena to fight for the future of this country. And I feel no different today than i did then knowing a calling never guarantees a particular outcome, but the journey that test one's faith and one's character. So now the journey leads me back to Texas neither discouraged nor disenchanted, but instead rewarded highly by the experience, and resolute to remain in the arena and in the service of my country. Our country needs bold leadership and real transformation, our country deserves that. We must rise to the occasion and elect a conservative champion to put our nation back on the right track. And this I know, I'm not done fighting for the cause of conservatism. As a matter fact, I have just begun to fight. God bless you, God bless this great country of America, thank you for coming out and being with us today.
WATCH Texas Governor Rick Perry suspend his campaign: