WASHINGTON – Texas Governor Rick Perry announced Thursday that he will be dropping his bid for the Republican US presidential nomination, just two days before the pivotal South Carolina primary
Perry entered the race in August and briefly was at the front of the pack of Republican candidates, but a series of gaffes and controversial statements during the campaign undermined his standing in polls.
Perry, 61, has been serving as the governor of Texas since 2000, when George W. Bush was elected president.
"I know when it's time to make a strategic retreat," Perry told a news conference. He called Gingrich "a conservative visionary who can transform our country" and added, "Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?"
Perry endorsed former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in the race. He 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.
Earlier in the week, Jon Huntsman abandoned his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Huntsman endorsed Mitt Romney as the man "best equipped to defeat Barack Obama."
AP and Reuters contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop