Rick Perry Suspends His Campaign, Becoming the First Victim of the Brutal GOP Primary
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has officially thrown in the towel in his race for the White House.
"Today I submit that [God's] will remains a mystery, but some things have become clear," Perry told a small but enthusiastic crowd of supporters at the Eagle Forum in St. Louis. "That is why today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States."
Perry, who kicked off his second bid for the Oval Office only on June 4, struggled in recent weeks to keep his fledgling campaign afloat. Plagued by poor fundraising and a meager, largely unpaid staff, Perry's camp was forced to rely on a well-funded pro-Perry super PAC to survive. But a poor showing in the first Republican primary debate in Cleveland and stagnant poll numbers, which kept him in the bottom tier of a crowded field, took its toll.
In his remarks, Perry lauded the rest of the field — the largest assemblage of candidates in living memory — as worthy of pursuing the White House. "We have a tremendous field — the best in a generation — so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands, and as long as we listen to the grassroots, the cause of conservatism will be too," Perry said. "I share this news with no regrets. It has been a privilege and an honor to travel this country, to speak with the American people about their hopes and dreams, to see a sense of optimism prevalent despite a season of cynical politics."
However, the former Texas governor did single out an opponent as unworthy of the highest office in the land, though not by name. Perry cautioned American voters from heeding "nativist appeals that divide the nation further," calling the rhetoric being used by a certain Republican frontrunner "un-Christlike."
"America can't replace a Democratic divider-in-chief," Perry said, "with a Republican divider-in-chief."