VIDEO: Rick Perry Announces Withdrawal From Race and Endorses Newt Gingrich, Saying He Believes in "Forgiveness and Redemption"
Rick Perry announced his withdrawal from the GOP presidential race just moments ago in front of a crowd in South Carolina, where the state's primary is set to be held on Saturday.
With his wife, Anita, and son, Griffin, at his side, Perry told supporters, "there is no viable path forward for me in this campaign. Therefore, today I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for President of the United States."
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In his remarks, Perry repeatedly referenced his campaign as transcending any personal ties or ambitions. "This has never been about the candidates. I ran for president because I love America. I love our people. I love our freedom. As a matter of fact, this mission is greater than any one man."
During the "journey" that was Perry's presidential campaign, the governor said he discovered the resiliency of the American people.
"What's broken in America is not our people; it's our politics. 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."
In his lead-up to endorsing Newt Gingrich, Perry said that it's important to not "lose track of our ultimate mission: not only to beat President Obama, but to bring about a conservative leader who will bring about real change."
"Newt is not perfect, but who among us is? And, I believe in forgiveness and redemption, for those who seek God," Perry said. "He has the courage to tell those Washington interests to take a hike, if that's what's in the best interest of our country."
Perry also cited his respect for historic Texas Governor Sam Houston, saying, "I know when it's time to make a strategic retreat." Therefore, Perry will return to Texas with pride, he said, with some very special people by his side.
The governor thanked wife Anita in an emotional tribute, calling her "an incredible patriot" during the political campaign process.
In closing, Perry looked at the crowd and said that with his family and a "loving God, things gonna be good, no matter what I do."
Watch the full speech: