Rick Perry is quitting the 2016 presidential race. The former four-term Texas governor, who also ran in 2011 for the 2012 nomination, never saw his campaign get off the ground this cycle. He performed better on the trail than he did in 2011, but wasn't able to overcome the taint of his previous disastrous run. Perry announced he was suspending his campaign in remarks he prepared to give to The Eagle Forum Friday afternoon:
"For me, the message has always been greater than the man. The conservative movement has always been about principles, not personalities. Our nominee should embody those principles. He – or she – must make the case for the cause of conservatism more than the cause of their own celebrity.
I still believe in the power of that message – a message that offers hope, redemption and solace in the midst of storms.
When I gave my life to Christ, I said, “Your ways are greater than my ways. Your will superior to mine.”
Today I submit that His will remains a mystery, but some things have become clear.
That is why today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.
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.
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."
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After being relegated to the undercard happy hour event during the first GOP debate last month, Perry's campaign ran into serious fundraising issues. Perry stopped paying staffers, laid off much of his campaign apparatus in Iowa and saw recruits defect to other campaigns. At the second Republican debate, scheduled for September 16, Perry was also slated to miss out on the main event.