Rick Perry Drops Out Of The Race For President

We won't have Rick Perry to kick around anymore.

US-POLITICS-IMMIGRATION-OBAMA

Rick Perry has become the first candidate to drop out of the race for the Republican Presidential nomination:

Rick Perry, his campaign effectively out of money, has decided to drop out of the presidential race, becoming the first Republican to quit the 2016 contest.

“It takes patience, performance and money and we had two out of the three,” said Henry Barbour, a Republican strategist and adviser to Mr. Perry.

Mr. Perry was expected to withdraw from the race this afternoon at a speech in St. Louis.

“We have a tremendous field – the best in a generation – so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands, and as long as we listen to the grassroots, the cause of conservatism will be too,” Mr. Perry planned to say in remarks to the conservative Eagle Forum, according to text sent by his campaign. “I share this news with no regrets. It has been a privilege and an honor to travel this country, to speak with the American people about their hopes and dreams, to see a sense of optimism prevalent despite a season of cynical politics.”

Mr. Perry and his small cadre of advisers had been discussing whether he should drop out of the race in recent weeks. They decided he had no choice because of cash-flow issues, advisers said. He had already stopped paying staff and was uncertain whether he would even have the money to pay the state filing fees required in the coming months to be on the ballot next year, they said.

The decision roiled the Texas donor world on Friday, setting off a race to win the allegiance of Mr. Perry’s wealthiest supporters, who poured more than $17 million into his super PAC even while his campaign struggled to raise traditional contributions. Chart Westcott, a Texas financier who has helped raise money for a super PAC supporting Scott Walker, predicted there would be a “scramble” for Mr. Perry’s backers. “But who knows what their appetite is.”

His decision to withdraw likely means the end of a political career that was remarkable in Texas but lackluster beyond his state’s borders. He was governor for a record 14 years there. But his White House bid in 2012, while initially promising, fizzled after a series of missteps, most memorably when he said “Oops” on a debate stage after failing to recall the names of the Cabinet departments he would eliminate as president. And despite years of policy tutorials leading up to this race, he was unable to gain much traction among Republican voters looking for new blood.

This announcement doesn’t really come as much of a surprise because Perry’s campaign has been on life support for some time now. While he did get a small bump in the polls after he initially announced his candidacy the beginning of June, that bump didn’t last very long at all. Even before Donald Trump entered the race some two weeks after Perry, there were already signs that his campaign was not going to take off. As I noted when he entered the race, Perry had an uphill climb to begin with because of the way that his 2012 campaign crashed and burned thanks largely to his ineffective, bumbling performances in several debates during the fall of 2011. At the beginning of that campaign, Perry’s poll numbers and fundraising hit record levels in a very short period of time. When the debates rolled around, though, his gaffes on immigration, the Gardasil controversy, and his seeming inability to form coherent thoughts took their toll and he quickly dropped to near the bottom of the GOP field, although he nominally stayed in the race until dropping out shortly before the South Carolina primary. In addition to this, Perry entered the race with  a criminal indictment for public corruption hanging over his head, and while it wasn’t something that many Republicans seemed to take seriously it certainly was a distraction in the race. By the end of July, Perry had dropped so far down in the polls that he failed to qualify for the main stage at the Fox News Debate on August 6th, and he would have been relegated to the same consolation debate that he was in then for the upcoming CNN debate next Wednesday evening. On top of all of that, a month ago we learned that Perry’s fundraising was drying up and that all of his staff was no longer being paid. More recently, there were reports that his offices in South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire had either been closed completely, or had their staff reduced to a single person. When that was reported, it was clear that the end was near for the Texas Governor.

Perry’s departure is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the race going forward. While he had been polling as high as 4-5% after first jumping in the race, in recent weeks his numbers had tanked so far that his numbers were at or below 1% nationally, as well as in Iowa and New Hampshire. With those kind of numbers, there just aren’t enough Rick Perry supporters out there to go to anything candidate in a way that would have a measurable impact on the race. The most immediate effect of his departure will be that the early debate on Wednesday is now reduced to just four people — Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Rick Santorum. While this may give one of those candidates an opportunity to break out since they will get some larger portion of air time than they would have otherwise, the more likely outcome is that this consolation debate will draw even less attention than it otherwise might have considering that it now features four people polling at or below 1% in the polls. Before long, these four men will likely joining Perry in dropping out of the race.

There aren’t any real lessons to be drawn from Perry’s case and his failure to succeed this time around except, perhaps, the old adage that there are no second acts in American politics. Rick Perry entered the Presidential race in 2011 as the candidate that many on the right thought would be the credible conservative alternative to Mitt Romney in an election where people like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann threatened to turn the race in the circus. For a time, it seemed as though he would fulfill that role at least so some extent, but his own inadequacies as a candidate made that impossible. Perhaps that election, and this one, would have turned out differently if Perry had not been recovering from back surgery, which her later blamed for the fact that he didn’t do well in the debates, but that’s a “What If?” that we’ll never know the answer to. As it is, Perry is gone and in a week or so nobody is really going to miss him.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    Please endorse Trump, please endorse Trump, please endorse Trump…

    :))

  2. Tony W says:

    I guess the department of……um……..hang on……….hmmm………… is safe

  3. Mr. Prosser says:

    He’ll probably say he didn’t drop out he seceded.

  4. Paul Hooson says:

    With his attacks on Trump’s rudeness, I actually gained a little respect for him as a decent man. But, it was a ride to nowhere for his presidency, where it had a lot of money troubles…

  5. Tillman says:

    Maybe he’ll try being a senator. Something legislative. Worked for Bob Dornan.

  6. Gustopher says:

    “We have a tremendous field – the best in a generation – so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands, and as long as we listen to the grassroots, the cause of conservatism will be too,” Mr. Perry planned to say in remarks to the conservative Eagle Forum, according to text sent by his campaign.

    The man is an idiot, or he is lying, or both. His party is in the hands of people who support Donald Trump.

    “I share this news with no regrets.

    Huh.

    I really appreciate Joe Biden’s rampant honesty, especially in comparison to this.

  7. Argon says:

    Perry said it was part of God’s plan. I have to admit it’s a bit comforting to consider that God’s plan for Perry was to be the first GOP hopeful bested by Trump. Could the next celestial casualty be Jindal?

  8. Argon says:

    The most memorable moments of Perry’s Presidential bids seem to have been…

    2012: “Oops”

    2015: “You know, a broken clock is right once a day”

  9. anjin-san says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    a decent man

    Well, he allowed an innocent man to be executed and felt no remorse for it. I think he has disqualified himself from membership in the “decent man” club…

  10. Paul Hooson says:

    With his attacks on Trump’s rudeness, I actually gained a little respect for him as a decent man. But, it was a ride to nowhere for his presidency, where it had a lot of money troubles…
    @anjin-san: I honesty don’t know a great deal about Rick Perry, but I appreciated his remarks in Trump’s rudeness and lack of civility…I don’t agree with Perry’s politics. But, his remarks about Trump were fair and deserved.

  11. Argon says:

    I can’t comment on whether Perry is a decent man but, man, he made out more than decent with all the sweet land deals he arranged while governor. With his financial skills and the help of a few political supporters, he managed to find a nice set of lucrative investments that others seemed to have missed. That was genius! (And also possibly illegal for governors of other States with real anti-corruption laws).

    Whereas many governors try to do good while in office, Perry managed to do well.

  12. anjin-san says:
  13. Ron Beasley says:

    I expect him to primary Ted Cruz and he might be able to win that one.

  14. Matt says:

    @anjin-san: He not only actively worked to ensure the execution. He also made sure that the committee that was examining the evidence post execution was in his pocket.

  15. ptfe says:

    Procedural question: what happens if 2 or 3 of the other 2nd-tier debate candidates drop out? Does CNN can that debate entirely? Do they actually hold a head-to-head or a one-man advertisement? And what about people in the audience? I doubt – and pools seem to agree – there are many who would want to see, say, the Bobby Jindal Show.

  16. C. Clavin says:

    Trump is now that much closer to the nomination.
    Republicans should be so proud!!!!

  17. Tyrell says:

    . Interesting. Perry is one of the first names that comes to mind when it comes to Republicans. It could be problems in 2012, the Trump factor, or the usual faces.

  18. Tony W says:

    @Tyrell:

    Perry is one of the first names that comes to mind when it comes to Republicans.

    I’ll give you that, but it ain’t a compliment dude.

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    That’s pathetic….which also describes today’s Republican Party.
    So I guess it makes perfect sense.