The perfect corollary to Trumpmania. The guy’s a rock-ribbed conservative who successfully governed the most famously red state in the country for 15 years. And he’s dead on arrival in the primaries.
AP NEWS ALERT: ST. LOUIS (AP) — AP sources: Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to drop out of 2016 Republican presidential race.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) September 11, 2015
The vultures have been circling for awhile. The chairman of his Iowa campaign jumped ship to Trump a few weeks ago after Perry had to temporarily stop paying staffers. Days later, he scaled back his campaign in the state to one staff member. More recently, his campaign in South Carolina had to shutter its HQ and move elsewhere. I think he simply ran out of gas financially. Because of his poor 2012 performance, the politically charged indictment hanging over his head in Texas, and Ted Cruz gobbling up lots of the Texas donor money that might have been there for Perry otherwise, there just wasn’t enough juice to keep the lights on.
Three days ago, Erick Erickson hoped for one last stand for Perry.
I hope Perry can have a last stand…
I’d go to Old North Bridge where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired at the Battle of Concord. I’d point out that Washington now is more abusive to the American people than King George ever was. The problem is not Democrats in charge of government, but government itself.
Then I’d declare war on Republicans and Democrats in Washington alike. I’d pick up the old campaign theme of making Washington as inconsequential to our lives as possible. And I’d point out that Black Lives Matter is a response to police having, against their will, to become revenue agents for an ever growing state. Only small government can address the underlying concerns.
If I were Rick Perry, I’d at least want to try for one last stand. And, frankly, Rick Perry deserves one last stand to try to turn it all around.
Alas, Clint Eastwood was right in “Unforgiven”: “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.” Perry’s on TV right now bowing out of the race; I’ll update this post with video of that when it’s available. His strategy this year initially was to run hard on his economic record, mostly staying away from social-conservative red meat — ironically, the same sort of reboot Mitt Romney had from 2008 to 2012 — but he got lost in the giant crowd of Republican candidates. He tried to get back on voters’ radar by launching a surprisingly eloquent attack on “Trumpism” in defense of conservatism, but that went nowhere.
Here’s the transcript of his remarks today bowing out. Quote: “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.” What this will do to the undercard debate on CNN next week, which now consists of just Jindal, Graham, Pataki, and Santorum, is unclear. Exit question: Who’s the next to quit? Graham’s trying desperately to hang on until South Carolina, but that’s nearly six months away. How long can he go on?
Update: A key bit from Perry’s speech.
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.
Update: Peace in our time:
.@GovernorPerry is a terrific guy and I wish him well- I know he will have a great future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2015