Rick Perry on Friday became the first candidate to remove himself from the Republican presidential nomination race, suggesting that being president was not in God’s plans for him.
“When I gave my life to Christ, I said, ‘Your ways are greater than my ways. Your will is superior to mine,'” Perry said in a speech delivered to the Eagle Forum, a conservative confab in St. Louis. “Today I submit to you His will remains a mystery, but some things have become . . . very clear to me. That is why today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.”
Perry had long been touted as a major presidential prospect, entering presidential politics for the first time in 2012 amid much fanfare, but collapsing after a blunder in a debate in which he couldn’t remember which federal agencies he planned to eliminate. Since then, he had reportedly been prepping assiduously for the next go-round and was supposedly ready to roar into the race.
But his candidacy never gained any traction, and he has been mired in the single digits nationally all year.
Perry’s withdrawal perhaps provides some satisfaction to the Bush family, given George W. Bush’s long rivalry with his successor as Texas governor.
Perry said he had “no regrets” and lauded the other Republicans in the race.
“We have a tremendous field of candidates, probably the greatest group of men and women,” Perry said. “I step aside knowing our party is in good hands as long as we listen to the grassroots and listen to the cause of conservatism.”
Citing his family, Perry said, “I am a blessed man.”