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Entries in Rick Perry (350)

Thursday
Jan192012

Romney Heaps Praise on Perry, Declines to Comment on Iowa

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Mitt Romney got two bits of bad news Thursday morning: an admission by the Iowa GOP that he had not won the caucus there this month, and former GOP presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry's endorsement of Newt Gingrich as a, “conservative to put our nation back on the right track.”

Asked by ABC’s Jonathan Karl for a reaction on the Iowa Caucus results, which revealed Thursday that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum received 34 more certified votes than he did, Romney did not offer a comment.

But he heaped praise on Perry just moments after the Texas governor suspended his campaign and endorsed rival Newt Gingrich. Romney, the GOP frontrunner who wants to sew up the nomination with a win in South Carolina on Saturday, said that the Texas governor would be missed at a debate sponsored by CNN on Thursday night.

“Governor Perry, terrific guy, terrific conservative, been a great governor was great in the race and we’re going to miss him on the stage tonight,” said Romney, who was surrounded by reporters and camera crews as he climbed into an SUV following a campaign event at his Charleston headquarters.

Earlier when he was shaking hands with supporters, Romney said Perry is, “a great man.”

“He made a real contribution,” said Romney. “He already has to his state and to our country.”

In a formal written statement from his campaign, Romney wrote, “Rick Perry ran a campaign based upon love of country and conservative principles. He has earned a place of prominence as a leader in our party and I salute him for his commitment to making President Obama a one-term president and finally getting our nation’s economy back on the right track. The nation owes Governor Perry a debt of gratitude for his years of service to his state and country. I wish Anita and him well.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan192012

Rick Perry Dropping Out of GOP Presidential Race

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesUPDATE: Rick Perry drew his campaign to a close Thursday and threw his backing behind Newt Gingrich, just miles from where he launched his presidential bid over five months ago.

(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Rick Perry will announce Thursday that he is dropping out of the race to become the Republican presidential nominee, ABC News has confirmed.

The Texas governor will hold a press conference in North Charleston, S.C., Thursday at 11 a.m. ET.

ABC News has also learned that Perry will endorse former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for the nomination.

Perry's decision comes amid growing calls from conservatives who've urged him to end his presidential bid and a drop in confidence among supporters.

Many fundraisers who saw Perry as a suitable candidate to win the GOP race now say they’re deflated and upset that he didn’t appear ready for the task.

“It’s over.  It’s long over.  Sometimes things are finished before they’re over.  It’s embarrassing to come out of the gate and get shot down, but it happens,” said a Perry fundraiser who spoke on the condition of anonymity.  “You’d think a guy who had 11 years in office...that he’d prepare, he’d read the paper and get prepared.”

Supporters point to Perry’s poor performance in debates as the key moments when fundraising dried up.  The biggest mistakes that cost him, they say, were his “oops” moment when he forgot one of the government agencies he said he would cut, and when he said people who didn’t want to educate the children of illegal immigrants didn’t "have a heart.”

Perry's campaign has also been damaged by defections -- notably top donor Barry Wynn, who left Perry for Mitt Romney -- and an inability to gain ground with the public, despite spending millions of dollars.

His downfall is evident in South Carolina, where he is polling about 6 percent among the state's Republicans ahead of Saturday's primary.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan192012

As SC Primary Looms, Perry’s Donors Say ‘It’s Over’

Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The way things are going, Rick Perry will be lucky if his campaign emerges from Saturday’s primary in South Carolina with a fraction of the support it had when the Texas governor announced his run for president.

With two days to go, Perry polls among South Carolina Republicans at about 6 percent -- the same number of people who said they had no opinion about whom they’d choose.  His campaign has been damaged by defections -- notably top donor Barry Wynn, who left Perry for Mitt Romney -- and an inability to gain ground with the public, despite spending millions of dollars.

Behind the scenes, many fundraisers and supporters who once were ecstatic over Perry as the GOP’s white knight when he entered the race now say they’re deflated and upset that he didn’t appear ready for the task.

“It’s over.  It’s long over.  Sometimes things are finished before they’re over.  It’s embarrassing to come out of the gate and get shot down, but it happens,” said a Perry fundraiser who spoke on the condition of anonymity.  “You’d think a guy who had 11 years in office...that he’d prepare, he’d read the paper and get prepared.”

Supporters point to Perry’s poor performance in debates as the key moments when fundraising dried up. The biggest mistakes that cost him, they say, were his “oops” moment when he forgot a government agency he said he would cut, and when he said people who didn’t want to educate the children of illegal immigrants didn’t "have a heart.”

Those early stumbles froze what would have been important donations, fundraisers said, and the campaign has all but given up on trying to regain its mojo even as Perry soldiers on in South Carolina.

“Nobody calls, nobody works, nobody has any expectations that he’s gonna win,” the fundraiser said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan182012

Conservatives Calling for Rick Perry to Drop Out of Race

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- Several prominent conservatives have called for Rick Perry to call his presidential bid quits, with one conservative blogger urging the Texas governor to end his campaign and throw his backing towards Newt Gingrich.

Erick Erickson, the founder of RedState.com, the website that hosted the event where Perry announced his presidential bid in August, penned an entry Wednesday calling Perry a potential “kingmaker” in the South Carolina primary if he decides to drop out before Sunday.

“Barring a miracle, this is Rick Perry’s final act in the 2012 elections. On Saturday, he will come in last in South Carolina,” Erickson wrote in a diary entry on RedState.  “Perry, however, has a potential trump card up his sleeve as he rebuilds political capital. It’s simple: he can drop out today, and endorse someone else. Doing so today, before the CNN Debate tomorrow, gives the news time to sink in.”

Erickson suggested the Texas governor’s choice of an endorsement would likely be Gingrich, not Romney or Santorum.

Mark Miner, a spokesman for Perry, said that the Texas governor is focused on the people of South Carolina, not the pundits declaring the end of his campaign.

“Pundits aren’t going to decide this race. The people of South Carolina are going to decide this race,” Miner said. “The governor’s focused on the people of South Carolina and their votes, not a pundit sitting behind a computer somewhere.”

Asked if there is a chance Perry will drop out of the race before Saturday, Miner responded: “We are in this race through the primary....There is no intention of leaving this race.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan182012

Rick Perry: XL Pipeline Decision Shows Obama’s Mixed Priorities

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(GREER, S.C.) -- At a stop on his Main Street walk in Greer on Wednesday, Texas Gov.  Rick Perry argued that the president’s decision to formally reject the Keystone XL pipeline permit shows his priorities are on re-election, not the future of the country.

“It doesn’t surprise me but...again, the president’s focused more on the next election than on the next generation. Getting this country independent of foreign sources of crude from countries that are not our friends is really problematic so, this Canadian oil, there’s a possibility we could lose it to China with that decision,” Perry told reporters in a shop along Main Street.

Perry said he hoped Americans would “become unhinged” with the decision as the country faced the possibility of paying $4 or $5 a gallon for gasoline.

Since December, in his stump speeches, the Texas governor has consistently criticized the administration and Congress for their resistance to the XL pipeline, saying the president should not allow the oil to head to China instead of using it here in the United States.

As he tried to differentiate himself from the president on ideology, Perry called himself the candidate who could provide a “bright contrast” to Obama.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan182012

Perry Leads SC Prayer Rally Days Before Primary

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(GREENVILLE, S.C.) -- Standing before a crowd of nearly a thousand people on Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry publicly offered up a prayer for the nation four days before the South Carolina primary, just as he did five months ago at a similar prayer rally in Houston, as he decided whether he’d enter the presidential race.

Perry read scripture and led prayer at a spin-off of the Response, the original event Perry helped organize at Reliant Stadium in August that drew more than 30,000 people.  In a similar speech to the one he gave in August, the Texas governor spoke of a “personal God,” one who is unaffiliated with politics or parties.

“His agenda’s not a political agenda.  He’s smarter than that.  He’s smart enough, wise enough not to get involved with any political affiliation or any institution that man has made,” Perry said.  “He understands the imperfections of those.  But he’s calling all of us, Americans of all walks of life, to be here tonight to pray for this country.  For us to seek him, to experience his love and his grace, his acceptance, experience a fulfilled life regardless of the circumstances that we may find ourselves in tonight.”

Perry offered a prayer for President Obama and his family, along with a prayer that Americans will allow God to become the central figure in their lives.

“Father give us hope, give us hope in this country that through you that this country can prosper, that it can, it can be healed.  Father we pray for our president.  We pray for his family.  We pray for the safety of his family.  We pray that you light his way.  We pray that you give him wisdom as he deals with the issues that he faces.  We pray for the people of this country that, Father, they would get down on their knees and seek your redemption.  That you lord will again become central in this country, in the decision makers, in everyone’s life, Father, that we understand that without you we are nothing,” he said.

Perry, a self-described “man of faith,” has often taken to church pulpits on the campaign trail to preach the importance of returning faith to the public sphere.  Citing passages from the Book of Joel and Second Chronicles, Perry discussed the impact God has upon him during times of trouble.

“Lord this, this walk that we’re taking, the trials the tribulations, we, we would fall if you weren’t there to hold us up, and we need you daily.  We need you hourly.  We need you by the minute and the second of our lives to, to, to completely and absolutely surrender, surrender to you, surrender to your will,” he said.

After hugging members of the band and faith leaders, Perry wiped a tear from his eye as he stepped off stage while the band sang, “What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan172012

Virginia Appeals Court Rules Against Perry and Gingrich

Alex Wong/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- A federal appeals court in Virginia has denied an emergency request by Gov. Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich to be placed on the ballot for the Virginia primary.

After failing to get the required 10,000 signatures necessary to be placed on the ballot, the candidates argued that Virginia’s strict ballot law was unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed with a lower court and ruled that the candidates had waited too long to file their lawsuit.

The court ruled that Perry and the other candidates “had every opportunity to challenge the various Virginia ballot requirements at a time when the challenge would not have created the disruption that this last-minute lawsuit has.”

The court said that if it had ruled in favor of Perry, then it would encourage other candidates for president “who knew the requirements and failed to satisfy them to seek at a tardy and belated hour to change the rules of the game.

“This would not be fair to the states or to other candidates who did comply with the prescribed processes in a timely manner and it would throw the presidential nominating process into added turmoil”, the court said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan172012

Analysis: Romney Stumbles, Gingrich Shines at SC Debate

Charles Dharapa-Pool/Getty Images(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) -- Monday night's Republican presidential candidates debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., was not one of Mitt Romney’s stronger debate performances; he stumbled when confronted by Rick Santorum about super PAC ads, and his answer on whether he’d release his personal tax returns was a muddled mess.

But, it wasn’t bad enough to derail his momentum as the frontrunner going into Saturday’s Republican primary in South Carolina.

As has been the case for the entire primary process, none of Romney’s opponents was able to make a clear, consistent or substantive case for why Romney shouldn’t be the nominee -- or, more important, why one of them should be the party’s standard bearer this fall.

Instead, it felt like four candidates going through the motions of yet another debate, while one -- Romney -- tried to run out the clock.

Newt Gingrich had a solid debate performance, perhaps his strongest since the ABC/Des Moines Register debate in early December.  Yet, his most memorable exchange was with Fox News moderator Juan Williams, not Romney.

Santorum tried to engage with Romney early on but, as he has done in previous debates, he spent more of his time arguing with Ron Paul over foreign policy.

Rick Perry, who is in a distant fifth place in South Carolina, took some swings at Romney early on, but by the middle of the debate his focus wavered to attacking Washington and the Obama administration.

In the end, Gingrich’s performance could help give him some needed momentum over Santorum, who's nipping at his heels.

Still, Monday night's debate did not have the feel of a “game changing” event.  If one of these candidates really wanted to distinguish himself from Romney, this was the night to do it.  Yet, no one did.  That means the ultimate winner Monday night, by default, was Romney.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan172012

Perry Camp Explains Suggestion Turkey Is Led by ‘Islamic Terrorists’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) -- In response to a question about whether or not Turkey should still be a part of NATO, Rick Perry suggested Monday night that some consider the country to be ruled by “Islamic terrorists.”

“Obviously when you have a country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists,” Perry said during the GOP debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Victoria Coates, foreign policy advisor to Perry, further explained the governor’s remarks, saying that some view the leaders of Turkey as Islamic terrorists due to their support of Hamas and the flotilla against Israel.

“The governor was responding to the questioners references to violence against women and to association with Hamas, I think both of which are things that many people do associate as he said with Islamic terrorists,” Coates told reporters in the spin room.  “He was referring to those things, and while he would welcome the opportunity to work with Turkey on regional issues like Syria or Iraq, this kind of behavior on the part of that country is disturbing and I think we should concerned about it.”

Asked if the leaders of Turkey have performed any actions which place them in the category of Islamic terrorists, Coates responded: "What he said was that many people associate that kind of behavior with that of Islamic terrorists.  I think also their support for the flotilla against Israel this fall.  It’s deeply concerning, and I think it’s something any future American president needs to be aware of.”

Coates said Turkey is an important country as the country serves as a “hinge point between east and west,” and is a NATO ally.

“It is certainly a topic he would cover in debate prep, particularly in terms of Syria.  I believe what he’s mentioned it before its been in terms of coping with the Syria crisis and then also as I said as a NATO ally,” Coates said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan172012

Perry Faces Backlash Over Daniel Pearl Comment at Debate

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) -- Rick Perry drew criticism Monday night from at least one reporter on Twitter who took issue with the Texas governor’s use of the death of Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was beheaded in 2002, to prove a point as he defended the Marines who urinated on Taliban corpses.

“Let me tell you what’s despicable, cutting Danny Pearl’s head off,” Perry said in Monday night's GOP debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., as he chided the Obama administration’s terming of the Marines’ actions as “despicable.”

John Harwood, a former colleague of Pearl’s at the Wall Street Journal, reprimanded Perry via Twitter, sending this tweet: “As someone who was a friend and colleague of Danny Pearl…Perry’s reference to Danny was irrelevant and gross.”

Katon Dawson, chair of Perry’s campaign in South Carolina, said Perry’s answer was effective and resonated with voters in the state.

“I think he told it just like it is,” Dawson said in the spin room.  “I think South Carolina voters understand that a strong military, a guy who wore the uniform for four and a half years, who volunteered service in the United States Air Force, who has actually been in those countries had a good perspective of it. I think it is something that is a real fact that he addressed.  I think he exposed the facts properly, addressed the question and certainly, from the applause from the audience, they agreed with it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio