Perry perishes in presidential race

Adam Schasel, Staff Reporter

Following former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially withdrew his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, choosing to endorse former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in his stead.

Although he initially led the polls following the beginning of his campaign last August, Perry fell in popularity following several public gaffes, including mistaking the date of the election, the minimum voting age for 21 instead of 18, and, most famously during a televised debate, forgetting which department he would remove once he became president.

Perry also received less-than-expected results from the Iowa Caucus, in which he polled roughly ten percent of the votes, and the New Hampshire primary, from which he pulled less than one percent.

Perry chose to endorse Gingrich, calling him a “conservative who will bring about real change.” Gingrich, who is trailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by seven percentage points, is likely to receive a major boost from Perry’s endorsement.

Gingrich will need all the support he can get, because if Romney, who has won the past two primaries, wins the next one in South Carolina, it is expected that he will become the official candidate of the Republican Party to challenge President Barack Obama. Also on the ballot in South Carolina are Texas congressman Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.