After thanking family and staff, Texas governor Rick Perry announced this morning that he would suspend his campaign and endorse Newt Gingrich.
Saying that he saw “no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign,” Perry called Gingrich a “visionary” with the “heart of a conservative reformer.” He said the former House speaker represented the best chance the Republicans had “not only to defeat president Obama, but to replace him with a conservative leader who will bring about real change.”
Perry allowed that he and Gingrich had “had our differences,” and in what seemed to be a reference to the renewed focus on Gingrich’s past marital strife, acknowledged that “Newt is not perfect. But who among us is?” He added that “there is forgiveness for those who seek God, and I believe in the power of redemption.”
“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,” Perry said.
In a written statement, Gingrich said he was “humbled and honored” to have Perry’s support and complimented the governor’s “selflessness” in deciding to withdraw from the race.
Perry characterized his exit as “a strategic retreat” and promised that he had “just begun to fight” for conservative principles.