Archive for Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rick Perry drops out of presidential race, endorses Gingrich

January 19, 2012


— 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.

"Newt is 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 is 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 the front-running Romney is struggling to hold onto his longtime lead.

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'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 soon led to a decline in support.

His defining moment came at one debate when he unaccountably could not recall the third of three federal agencies he has promised to abolish. He joked about it afterward, but never recovered from the fumble.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor considered the more moderate candidate in the race, has benefited thus far from having several 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, a champion of the anti-abortion issue, is still in the race and over the weekend was endorsed by a group of evangelical leaders.

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

Romney has been working to court them in recent weeks, having made repeated visits to Texas to meet with major Republican donors. He also won the backing of former President George H.W. Bush. Several Perry supporters, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid publicly discussing their next steps before Perry's announcement, said they have been approached by Romney's campaign and will support him as the most-likely candidate to face President Barack Obama in November.

At least three so-called "super" political action committees have sprung up since early 2011 supporting Perry. One, Americans for Rick Perry, raised about $193,000 during the first half of 2011, federal election records show.

But none of the groups has been more prominent than Make Us Great Again, which aired more than $3.3 million worth of ads in Iowa and South Carolina supporting the Texas governor. A spokesman for the group did not immediately return calls from the AP seeking comment about whom, if anyone, the PAC would support after Perry drops out.

Perry entered the race last August to great fanfare and high numbers in polls. But his standing quickly fell after a series of gaffes and other verbal missteps. Those errors called into question whether the Texas politician who had never lost a race during his three-decade career in elected office was ready for the national stage.

His biggest flub came in a nationally televised debate in early November, when he could not remember the name of the third Cabinet department he pledged to eliminate.

Perry could only manage to say, "Oops." Making fun of himself afterward, he told reporters: "I stepped in it."

It was a cringe-inducing moment replayed more than a million times on YouTube. The memory lapse not only solidified Perry's reputation for weak debate performances, it gave the impression that he couldn't articulate his own policies. The stumble further tamped down his already faltering poll numbers.

Perry, 61, was relatively unknown outside of Texas until he succeeded George W. Bush as governor after Bush was elected president in 2000. A former Democrat, Perry had already spent about 15 years in state government when he became governor. He went on to win election to the office three times — the most recent was in 2010 — to become the state's longest-serving chief executive.

Part of Perry's appeal came from his humble beginnings as a native of tiny Paint Creek, Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M; University and was a pilot in the Air Force before winning election in 1984 to the Texas House of Representatives. He switched to the GOP in 1989, and served as the state's agriculture commissioner before his election as lieutenant governor in 1998.

Perry's success as a politician suggested he would be a strong competitor to Obama. He had never lost a race in Texas, and his fight against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010 showed how tough he could be on a rival.

Perry picked Aug. 13 for his official announcement speech, the same day as the Iowa Straw Poll. While rival Michele Bachmann won that poll, the Texas governor cast a shadow over her victory by challenging her as conservatives' best hope for winning the nomination and defeating Obama.

He entered near the top of some polls. But his support of a Texas policy to allow children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates soon proved to be problematic with conservatives nationwide. So, too, did his 2007 order that would have required schoolgirls in Texas to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus. Although state lawmakers overturned the order, Perry defended the vaccination as necessary to combatting the sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.

His performance on the campaign trail also led to concerns about how his rhetoric would sound to a national audience. During a campaign stop in Iowa in August, he suggested that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would be practically committing treason if he were to print more money and said, "I don't know what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas."

A Perry speech to a New Hampshire audience in October led to a damaging video, during which he appeared unusually animated — "loopy" to some observers — a stark contrast to the image of the serious, starchy governor he had projected. Amid questions, Perry later told reporters that he hadn't been drinking or taking medication at the time and called it "a pretty typical speech for me."

More flubs followed. While criticizing the nine-member Supreme Court to a newspaper editorial board, he referred to "eight unelected and frankly unaccountable judges" and struggled to come up with the name of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, then called her "Montemayor." He urged college students in New Hampshire to support his candidacy, "those of you that will be 21" on Election Day, though the voting age is 18.

The widespread criticism of those performances and his rivals' attacks on his immigration and vaccination policies led to a significant drop in support.

Associated Press writer Chris Tomlinson in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.


yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

Aw shucks. He was so much fun.

Still plenty of fun to be had with the hangers-on.

Popcorn, anyone?

preebo 6 years, 5 months ago

Another unqualified Brownback recommendation to quit before he ever really started...

Jim Williamson 6 years, 5 months ago

And Newt said, "Aw, jeez, I am so screwed."

chootspa 6 years, 5 months ago

There goes my hope that Brownback would run for veep and leave us alone for a few months.

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

Colbert for President!

Vote Herman Cain in the South Carolina primary.

tolawdjk 6 years, 5 months ago

If you are not elected President...blame yourself!

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.

somedude20 6 years, 5 months ago

The male version of Sarah Palin will be going back to his *head ranch to continue his humanitarian efforts, I am sure.

patkindle 6 years, 5 months ago

i would vote for any candidate with this platform

  1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

  2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

  3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

  4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

  5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Yep, if a post is broken down into a numbered list, there is an 87% chance it is a copy and paste job.

Of course, I made that percentage up, but hey, at least it is original.

Orwell 6 years, 5 months ago

Well, that's certainly a more persuasive platform than:

  1. An educated populace/workforce
  2. Access to affordable medical care
  3. [Aw, shoot – what was that third thing?]

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

Half of the citizens of the USA are not working?

KS 6 years, 5 months ago

Not original, but right on. I am sure that most folks posting here will really not understand the first four, but the first part of #5 should be very clear to them. They practice it everyday.

Alexander Smith 6 years, 5 months ago


One, you can legistlate poor into prosperity by bringing back jobs and providing opertunities to prove themselves. Remeber it was also production (middle class/lower) that build America..sadly do to greed of business and the Americans...has moved those out. Also, you can legislate the wealthy so they are more responsible to the country. The US Constitution is about WE the people..not I the people.

Two, letting those who struggle to hang out and dry is VERY anti-American. Not saying give a free ride but we do have a responsibility to provide support to those who are the victims of our greed. Not saying free rides but..we don't leave them out to dry. Your third point is one of the worst ideas yet. Part of being great is willing to give FIRST then receive...ever figure out WHY we are so hated..its because we have the all might attitude that "we are better then you" and give us what we want FIRST..then maybe we will give something back.

Your fourth point is incorrect and won't even go there. Stop protecting the rich.

Your last statement has some merit but again.. the arrow leads back to he loss of jobs (production) to other countries because the Americans are GREEDY, want more for less AND have it NOW. Its the greed of Americans to ALWAYS increase profits even though they may already have a large net profit as is. What that leads to is the constant search for new ways to remove costs which means MOVING production and other things to other countries. Untill this stops.. nothing is going to change. We want a booming economy, put high tariffs on imports so OUR busnesses think twice before shipping jobs overseas.

In the end.. your dream will not happen. You want to see a dream happen.. then get our jobs back and convince teh greedy Americans to be HAPPY with they have and be WILLING to wait for things. Also, put a lock down on land developers. They have destroyed our housing economy. They should be redeveloping older areas.. not expanding to new.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

There were such high hope for him, too ... until he actually got in the race and opened his pie hole, that is.

I wonder how welcoming people in Texas will be with his return to full-time governing. His popularity has to have taken a hit with his poor performance on the national stage.

Ahhh, but we will always have, "Oops."

Bob Forer 6 years, 5 months ago

So please explain to us what portions of Newt's philandering and ethics violations which resulted in a $300,000 fine are lies

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

He wasn't anointed, he was elected. You know this. We have covered it, yet it continues.

You repeatedly make this false accusation, then in the same post claim others are telling "flat out lies."

Too sad to be funny.

kansanbygrace 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh come on, and, by the way, you aren't about "math" You're about "arithmetic"

The press have given each of these potential candidates enough coverage to bury themselves with their own ineptitude. Fox included.

If the party would pick good candidates, they wouldn't prove themselves to be idiots.

Kansas will get nothing more from Keystone, so why pump that issue so hard, just to sell Canadian tar to China?

voevoda 6 years, 5 months ago

its_just_math, Once again, you use the Savior's sacred title, "The Anointed One," as a term of political abuse. This is offensive to Christians. I have caused you before about this. Now, I am asking the moderator to remove your posting.

Bob Forer 6 years, 5 months ago

With the clown car slowly self-destructing, sooner or later it will be driverless with but a sole mangled passenger, which presents a fascinating question: Who will be the winner's running mate.

Bob Forer 6 years, 5 months ago

Sorry math, but I am not a liberal. The liberal-conservative paradigm long ago outlived its usefulness. Democracy is too complicated, and too precious to be reduced to meaningless labels. .

And by the way. I think Bill Clinton is a POS.

kansanbygrace 6 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, and Dick and Georgie lied through their teeth and sent the dogs to kill people who had nothing to do with us, or with the WTC bombing, and still go on their TV outlet and repeat the lies, and excuse themselves, while their own intelligence teams told them they were full of it.

What's the difference between lying about a hummer and lying that cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives? The difference is: Willy confessed, Dick and George still lie, lie, lie.

You need to get out sound like a tape loop of the most preposterous hyperbole imaginable.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Clinton? Wasn't he president in the last millennium?

So how exactly has Obama lied? Why again should we be agreeing to have an oil line running through our country when we aren't guaranteed any of the oil will actually stay here and they don't even have a route for it yet?

Come on. After the disaster of the Gulf spill, do you really want to give another oil company free reign? (Don't bother answering that. I suspect your answer would be too depressing for words.)

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

So now the choice is between the guy who wants to make immediate cuts to Social Security and wants to ban all abortions; the guy who is known for his divisive nature when he served in office and has a broken, but now apparently taped together moral compass; the other guy who pays taxes at half the rate of middle-class Americans; and that final guy who didn't write or read any of those newsletters put out using his name, even though video clips show him promoting his newsletter during the era when he wasn't reading it (I could have said that guy who was in Bruno, but not sure how many of you saw that cinematic, um, masterpiece.)

Obama by a landslide, even if he doesn't deserve it.

Bob Forer 6 years, 5 months ago

The latest polls in South Carolina show Newt Gingrich surging to tie Mitt Romney. The trends would appear to favor Gingrich, given that support for conservative alternatives to Romney -- former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (11.3 percent) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (3.5 percent) -- was already fading.

Of course, these new polls do not yet reflect reactions to two big stories that broke this morning: Perry dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed Gingrich, and ABC News broadcast a "bombshell" interview with Marianne Gingrich, in which the ex-wife of the former speaker discusses details of their divorce.

Let's hope Perry's endorsement cancels out the ex's bombshell interview. The entertainment value of a continued contested republican primary is priceless.

You gotta love the unmitigated hypocrisy of the South Carolina evangelical vote.

woodscolt 6 years, 5 months ago

A moment of silence of for blowsalot in his time of need. And to think, Perry didn't even endorse blowsalot. It must be absolutely crushing to blowsalot. I didn't even realized perry was running for anything. I thought it he just took his Texas standup comedy act on the road for the rest of us to get a laugh out of. Now he can go back and enjoy the polution warnings with the rest of his texans. Always remember Rick, just play it safe and stay inside so you dont have burn your eyes and nose with your pollution.

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