Texas Gov. Rick Perry will end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination today and is expected to endorse former House speaker Newt Gingrich, according to two sources familiar with his thinking.STORY
Gingrich himself said via email this morning that all he knows is “not much. Rumors.”
Perry has called a press conference at 11 a.m. this morning in North Charleston to announce the news, which was first reported by CNN’s Peter Hamby.
Perry’s announcement comes just hours before the candidates will gather for their 16th debate of the Republican race and just two days before the South Carolina primary.
For the last several months, it had become clear that Perry would not be a major factor in the race — hamstrung by a string of lackluster debate performances that culminated in his inability to name the three federal agencies that he would eliminate if elected president.
One early Perry fundraiser, who soured on the campaign as the candidate repeatedly stumbled, said the decision “was a foregone conclusion to what has been quite possibly the worst-run presidential campaign of our lifetimes.”
Following a fifth place finish in Iowa, Perry said that he would return to Texas to reassess his candidacy. But, less than 24 hours later he announced — via Twitter! — that he would continue in the race.
1) Does this clear the field for a conservative alternative to Romney?
2) Why didn't Perry get more traction in the race?
3) Did the Texas accent remind voters of Bush too much?
4) Did you ever get the feeling that Perry's heart just wasn't in it?