During a speech to the Eagle Forum on Friday, former Texas governor Rick Perry announced he was suspending his campaign for the 2016 Republican nomination. (Reuters)
This story was originally published at 5:23 p.m. It has been updated.
ST. LOUIS — Former Texas governor Rick Perry effectively ended his second campaign for president Friday, becoming the first candidate to exit the race as his attempt to mount a do-over of his disastrous 2012 run fell short.
“When I gave my life to Christ, I said, ‘Your ways are greater than my ways. Your will is superior to mine,'” Perry told the audience of several hundred activists at the conservative Eagle Forum’s summit. “Today I submit to you His will remains a mystery, but some things have become clear to me. That is why today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.”
Perry had struggled to rise in polls and failed to qualify for last month’s prime-time debate in Cleveland — a major setback. He appeared in the undercard debate, only to see Carly Fiorina, a former technology executive, have what many observers considered a breakout performance.
In an interview last month, as the campaign stopped paying staffers amid mounting money woes, Perry’s team insisted it saw a path forward that would keep the former Texas governor’s candidacy alive to the start of next year’s caucuses and primaries.
“At the end of the day, it’s not the national poll numbers that will dictate who our nominee is,” campaign manager Jeff Miller said. “It’s who can perform well in these early states.”
[August: Rick Perry’s campaign details a path forward despite money woes]
In the weeks leading up to the Cleveland debate, Perry aggressively took on front-runner Donald Trump, calling the celebrity billionaire “a cancer on conservatism” and his campaign “a barking carnival act.”
The move did Perry no good in the polls, as Ohio Gov. John Kasich edged him out to earn the 10th and final spot in the prime-time faceoff. The campaign withered away, which Iowa campaign chairman Sam Clovis leaving, then joining Trump’s presidential bid.
[August: The zombie apocalypse has arrived has arrived, and it’s in Iowa with Rick Perry]
Miller said last month that the governor had “zero” regrets about taking on Trump.
“The governor did it because it was the right thing to …Read More