Perry tweets, ‘Here we come South Carolina’
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A determined Rick Perry said Wednesday he will not abandon his presidential campaign despite a fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
“And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State. … Here we come South Carolina!!!,” the Texas governor wrote on his Twitter account.
Perry, an avid runner, attached a photo of himself jogging near a lake, wearing a Texas A&M running shorts and showing a thumbs-up.
Phone messages left with his campaign were not immediately returned Wednesday.
After winning 10 percent of the vote in Iowa on Tuesday, Perry said he would return to Texas “to determine whether there is a path forward” for his White House bid.
After entering the race in August to great fanfare, he nosedived, plagued by missteps most notably in debates. He had planned to make South Carolina his final stand, but put events in that state on hold Wednesday while he headed back to the Texas capital.
Perry’s national political director told campaign workers early Wednesday that the governor was reviewing his organizational and financial resources, and assessing the political landscape in South Carolina and beyond. South Carolina’s primary is Jan. 21. The next contest in the race for the GOP nomination is Jan. 10 in New Hampshire.
The photo of Perry after what appears to have been a jog in cold weather was decidedly defiant compared to the emotional speech he gave in Iowa. In his remarks, Perry told supporters that he appreciated their work but needed to consider whether there was a viable strategy for him to restart his campaign in South Carolina.
“With the voters’ decision tonight in Iowa, I decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight’s caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race,” Perry said, his family standing behind him.
Before Perry spoke, his advisers tried to paint the first contest in the South as the real start to his strategy and braced for a lackluster performance in the Iowa caucuses, which typically winnows the field of presidential hopefuls.