Texas Governor Rick Perry announced Thursday that he will drop out of the Republican presidential race– only two days before South Carolina voters head to the polls.
In his announcement at the Hyatt Place hotel in North Charleston Thursday, Perry officially endorsed Newt Gingrich. The Texas governor was only a few miles away from where he first announced he would enter the race.
“What we need in Washington is a place that is humbler, with a federal government that is smaller, so our people can live freer,” Perry said in his speech Thursday.
“Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?” Perry told reporters, “The fact is: there is forgiveness for those who seek God. And I believe in the power of redemption for it is a central tenet of my Christian faith.”
He entered the race in September to a strong start in the polls, but those numbers steadily declined after a series of gaffes and debate stumbles. He skipped campaiging in New Hampshire to come to South Carolina to appeal to a more conservative base of GOP voters. He has barnstormed all parts of the state for two weeks. Yet, recent polls only showed Perry with about 5 percent support in South Carolina.
AUDIO: Listen to today’s speech