Thursday, January 19, 2012
6 down...3 to go!
Texas Governor Rick Perry has withdrawn from the Republican presidential race and endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
He said there was no "viable path forward", at a news conference in North Charleston, South Carolina.
When Mr Perry entered the race in August, he briefly shot to the front of the pack before gaffes and poor debate performances set him back.
His departure leaves four candidates in the Republican race.'Conservative visionary'
Mr Perry said: "I'm come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign.
"Therefore today I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich."
Mr Perry called Mr Gingrich a "conservative visionary", adding: "Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?"
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is the front-runner in the state-by-state race for the Republican Party's nomination to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama for the White House this November.
Recent opinion polls have shown a resurgent Mr Gingrich gaining on Mr Romney, although he still trails by about 10 percentage points.
However, the thrice-married Mr Gingrich could be embarrassed by an interview ABC News will broadcast with his former wife, Marianne, on its Nightline show later on Thursday.
ABC has released an excerpt of the interview in which the former Mrs Gingrich says her ex-husband wanted an open marriage.
Mr Romney, Mr Gingrich, veteran Texas Congressman Ron Paul and Christian conservative Rick Santorum remain in the contest.
All four will battle it out on Thursday night in the final nationally televised debate before South Carolina's primary on Saturday.
After finishing fifth in Iowa's first-in-the-nation nominating contest, Mr Perry briefly reconsidered his campaign before ploughing on.
He skipped the moderate New England state of New Hampshire to focus on South Carolina. But his message failed to take off even in that conservative southern state.
His departure follows on the heels of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and last month, Georgia businessman Herman Cain.
Mr Perry had faced calls in recent days to stand aside as rivals warned the conservative vote would fracture across the candidates, ultimately benefiting Mr Romney.
Mr Romney's Mormon faith and political record as governor of the moderate state of Massachusetts is viewed with suspicion by some conservative Republicans.
Also on Thursday, the final results of the Iowa caucuses were certified as a split decision between Mr Romney and Mr Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, because of missing data.
Mr Romney had initially been declared the winner of the 3 January nominating contest by eight votes.
But the final count shows Mr Santorum ahead by 34 votes, although no winner has been declared because the results from eight precincts are missing.
According to the certified vote totals, Mr Santorum won 29,839 votes while Mr Romney had 29,805. Mr Paul kept his third-place finish, with 26,036 ballots.
Iowa Republican Party chairman Matt Strawn announced the results at a news conference on Thursday morning.
The Romney campaign called the outcome a "virtual tie", while the Santorum campaign said it changed the narrative of the race.
Well they're dropping like flies now so I am curious to see whose calling it quits next, I have my suspicion but...I'LL NEVER TELL
**Article courtesy of BBC US & Canada**
Posted by Untitled2012 at 1:29 AM