Rick Perry Drops Out, Endorses Gingrich Ahead of South Carolina Primary

Rick Perry Drops Out, Endorses Gingrich Ahead of South Carolina Primary

Rick Perry Drops Out, Endorses Gingrich Ahead of South Carolina Primary

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Jan. 19 2012 3:04 PM

Perry's Farewell and Endorsement of Gingrich

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(Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry salutes as his wife Antia looks on at Hyatt Place January 19, 2012 in North Charleston, South Carolina.)

Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images

The man who never lost an election is quitting while he’s ahead.

Gaffe-prone Texas Governor Rick Perry has thrown in the towel for his presidential bid just two days ahead of the South Carolina primary, after a disappointing primary season performance.

Despite an early influx of money and interest in his campaign, the Texas evangelical failed to gain traction with voters since declaring his presidential bid last August. Many suspect his lack of traction is due to poor debate performances that left the candidate appearing unprepared for a presidential run. And a series of awkward commercials targeted at conservative voters that were spoofed and criticized on the Internet. In one ad, the Governor—whose disapproval of gay rights has been well documented—was wearing the same jacket as a character in the movie Brokeback Mountain.

In his concession speech, the governor endorsed Newt Gingrich, who is surging in polls ahead of South Carolina’s GOP primary. Though a majority of Perry supporters put Gingrich as their second choice, it’s unclear how many will flock to the former house speaker’s camp in the upcoming vote.

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In the end Perry may be remembered for inadvertently bringing a lighter tone to the presidential race, whose cast of characters will be much less colorful without him.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

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