Former Texas Governor Rick Perry announced on Friday afternoon during the Eagle Forum Conference in St. Louis, MO that he was suspending his presidential campaign. This is the second time the former governor has sought the Republican nomination for president. He struggled with fundraising and was unable to pay his staff. He saw the departure of key staff in both Iowa and in New Hampshire.
During his remarks he said:
For me, the message has always been greater than the man. The conservative movement has always been about principles, not personalities. Our nominee should embody those principles. He – or she – must make the case for the cause of conservatism more than the cause of their own celebrity.
I still believe in the power of that message – a message that offers hope, redemption and solace in the midst of storms.
When I gave my life to Christ, I said, “your ways are greater than my ways. Your will superior to mine.”
Today I submit that His will remains a mystery, but some things have become clear.
That is why today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.
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.
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.
And as I approach the next chapter in life, I do so with the love of my life by my side, Anita Perry. We have our house in the country, we have two beautiful children and two adorable grandchildren, four dogs, and the best sunset from our front porch that you could ever imagine.
Life is good. And I am a blessed man.
I remain as convinced as ever: there is nothing wrong with America today that cannot be fixed with new leadership. Leadership that champions conservative ideas.
As great as our greatest Republican presidents were – from Lincoln to Reagan – it is their ideas that remain greatest.
Those ideas live on through the spirit, idealism and optimism of this generation of Americans.
We must return to great ideas, to our belief in the power of free individuals, free markets, and free Americans standing watch for liberty wherever it is threated.
This is up to us. It is up to you. And to me. Let’s roll up our sleeves. Let’s get to work. Let’s make America, America again.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
Several of Republican presidential candidates responded to the news:
“Gov. Rick Perry is a friend and a remarkable public servant. He is a proud veteran who bravely served our nation, and he was an extraordinary governor of Texas. As Texas Solicitor General, it was an honor to serve under him,” U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in a released statement.
“Because of his principled leadership as the longest-serving governor in the state’s history, Texas has become a haven for freedom, entrepreneurship, and limitless opportunity. The entire Republican field was unquestionably made stronger by the experience and wisdom he brought to the race,” Cruz added.
“Rick Perry is a great man and a committed public servant. One of the blessings of the 2012 Republican presidential primary was getting to know Rick and his family,” former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum said. “He became a truly wonderful friend and I am grateful for that bond each day. I wish him, his wife Anita, and their children nothing but the best. I am sure this is not the end of Governor Perry’s service to our nation.”
“Rick Perry is a friend, patriot, and humble public servant. While we will miss his voice on the campaign trail, his leadership and legacy as one of America’s finest governors will remain with us. I wish him and Anita the best,” former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee stated.
“Governor Perry has dedicated his entire life to his family, friends, and Jesus Christ. He served in the United States Air Force and as governor of Texas with distinction, and I have no doubt that his service to our nation is not over. I commend him for running an honorable, positive campaign, and wish the best to him and his family,” U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) shared in a released statement.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) welcomed Perry supporters to the fold.
I welcome supporters of Governor Perry to join our campaign for liberty. Our nation needs a leader in chief: http://t.co/lpzLQBXXC5
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 11, 2015
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker tweeted:
.@GovernorPerry, you championed the kind of real results we need to deliver in Washington & for America. Thanks for running a great race -SW
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) September 11, 2015
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush thanked Perry for his commitment to advance conservative principles.
Amen. God bless Rick Perry for his continuing commitment to that cause. https://t.co/s3wSHkDYSy
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) September 11, 2015
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal tweeted.
.@GovernorPerry is a great friend, and has the best record of any Governor anywhere, anytime.
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) September 11, 2015
Ohio Governor John Kasich also addressed Perry’s departure on Twitter.
Appreciate @GovernorPerry being part of this campaign to return conservatism to the White House. Let's make it happen. -John
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) September 12, 2015
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeted a couple of messages.
I've always respected @GovernorPerry's service to our country in the Air Force, and distinguished service to the people of TX.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 11, 2015
.@GovernorPerry, I'm proud to call you my friend and I wish you the best in the future.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 11, 2015
Donald Trump was gracious toward Perry on Twitter.
.@GovernorPerry is a terrific guy and I wish him well- I know he will have a great future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2015