Perry quits, endorses Newt: Full prepared remarks

Rick Perry speaking in Columbia last week.

Here’s what Rick Perry had to say this morning (the prepared remarks, anyway):

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Below is the text of Gov. Perry’s speech today.

*NOTE: Gov. Perry sometimes deviates from prepared remarks.

Thank you. As I have stated numerous times on the campaign trail, this campaign has never been about the candidates.
I ran for President because I love America, our people and our freedom.
But the mission is greater than the man.
As I have traveled across this great country: from New Hampshire to California, from Iowa to Florida, and to numerous states in between, I have discovered a tremendous purpose and resiliency in our people.
They have never lost hope despite current circumstances.
They haven’t stopped believing in the promise of America or the American Dream.
Americans are down, but we can never be counted out. We are too great a people.
What is broken in America is not our people, but our politics.
And what we need is a Washington that is humbler, with a federal government that is smaller so our people can live freer.
I entered this campaign offering a unique perspective: a governor who has led a large state leading the nation in job creation, an executive leader who has implemented conservative policies, a son of tenant farmers born with little more than a good name, but who has experienced the great possibilities of freedom.
But I have never believed that the cause of conservatism is embodied by any one individual.
Our party, and the conservative philosophy, transcends any one individual.
It is a movement of ideas that are greater than any one of us, and that will live beyond our years.
As a former Air Force pilot, I know we can’t lose track of the ultimate objective in carrying out our mission, and that objective is not only to defeat President Obama, but to replace him with a conservative leader who will bring about real change.
Our country is hurting with more than 13 million unemployed, nearly 50 million on food stamps and a debt of more than $15 trillion and growing.
We need bold, conservative leadership that will take on the entrenched interests and give the American People their country back.
I have always believed the mission is greater than the man.
As I have contemplated the future of this campaign, I have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path to victory for my candidacy in 2012.
Therefore, today I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for president.
I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country.
We have had our differences, which campaigns inevitably bring out. And Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?
The fact is, there is forgiveness for those who seek God and I believe in the power of redemption, for it is a central tenet of my own Christian faith.
And I have no question Newt Gingrich has the heart of a conservative reformer, the ability to rally and captivate the conservative movement and the courage to tell the Washington interests to take a hike if it’s what is best for the country.
As a Texan, I have never shied away from a good fight, especially when the cause was right.
But as someone who has always admired a great Texas forefather — Sam Houston — I know when it is time for a “strategic retreat.”
So I will leave the trail, return home to Texas and wind down my 2012 campaign organization.  And I will do so with pride knowing I gave myself fully to a cause worthy of our country.
And as I head home, I do so with the love of my life by my side, a woman who makes every day a good one when she is by my side, my wife Anita.
Thank you Anita for all you have done.
I also want to thank my son Griffin, my daughter Sydney, and my daughter-in-law Meredith for standing with us in this great effort.
With a good wife, three wonderful children, and a loving God in my life, things will be good no matter what the future holds.
I’m proud of the policies we put forward to the American people and believe they provide the right path forward for our party and our nation: overhauling Washington and returning power to state and local governments and to the people, creating energy jobs and energy security, cutting spending and eliminating unnecessary federal agencies and cutting taxes to a flat, fair 20 percent.
And I will continue to fight for these conservative reforms because the future of our country is at stake and the road we are traveling today – President Obama’s road – endangers our future.
I want to thank some wonderful individuals who have stood by my side in this state: Katon Dawson, Ambassador Wilkins, and a strong and good man serving you in Congress, Mick Mulvaney.
I want to thank all my supporters from across the country, in particular Governor Bobby Jindal, Steve Forbes and Governor Sam Brownback, as well as Senator Jim Inhofe, Congresswoman Candice Miller and Congressman Sam Graves.
And I want to say a special thanks to three distinguished veterans who have joined me on the campaign trail: Medal of Honor awardee and Navy SEAL Mike Thornton, Navy Cross recipient Marcus Luttrell and Purple Heart recipient, Marine Captain Dan Moran.
I began this race with a sense of calling.
I felt led into this arena to fight for the future of this country.
I feel no different today than I did then, knowing a calling never guarantees a particular destination, but a journey that tests one’s faith and character.
So now the journey leads us back to Texas, neither discouraged nor disenchanted, but instead rewarded for the experience and resolute to remain in the arena and in the service of a great nation.
Our country needs bold leadership and a real transformation.
We must rise to the occasion and elect a conservative champion to put our nation back on the right track.
And this I know, I am not done fighting for the cause of conservatism. In fact I have only begun to fight.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

I wonder if he knew, when he made this decision, about what the ex-wife is saying? And whether he’s re-evaluating now?

12 thoughts on “Perry quits, endorses Newt: Full prepared remarks

  1. Brad

    I mean, really: Does a guy with “the heart of a conservative reformer” ask his wife for an “open marriage?”

    Maybe he does. Sometimes I’m color-blind in that range…

  2. Mark Stewart

    What’s more conservative than taking the old school approach? That’s what people did before divorce; they just went on through life. As distasteful as it sounds, he just asked her whether she wanted to stay married while he lived another life. I imagine that a lot of people have made that choice in life to accept a spouse’s transgressions. It’s hardly ideal (and certainly toxic); but then what short of a good, solid marriage is? Once that’s lost, we are all adrift to make the best of things.

    Life is so much more complicated than we ever really understand. Newt’s already admitted to his situation – it’s not the bombshell of the Herman Cain revelations.

  3. Mark Stewart

    I believe in a free media, but really ABC clearly was running this just based on the timing. Which is not journalism, but a calculated business decision.

    This was not a newly uncovered investigation. I hate this kind of muckraking. It just schews public reaction and is the antithesis of what journalism ought to be about.

  4. j

    Come on Mark. Two times? What did GWB say about fool me once, fool me twice?

    “..Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
    Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.”

  5. bud

    So let me get this straight. Here’s a man who married his high school geometry teacher when he was 19 years old and she was 26. When she contracted cancer he surprised her in the hospital with divorce papers while he was having an affair. He ended up marrying the woman he was having the affair with.

    Some 10 or so years into marriage number 2 he began an affair, sometimes in the same bed he shared with his wife, with a congressional staffer 23 years his junior while at the same time vehemently slamming the president for his marital infedility. To make matters even more interesting he was going around the country at the time of affair number 2 giving speeches about the virtues of family values.

    Eventually he decided he wanted an open marriage with wife 2 so he could continue sleeping with his mistress and perhaps others as the opportunity presented. Apparently this was all a big surprise to wife 2 just as it had been to wife 1. After being turned down on the open marriage proposal he gets a divorce, marries wife number 3 and converts to Catholism.

    And now he’s running in a tight race in the SC primary for president in evangelical South Carolina. Hard to imagine anything more remarkable that this story if he ends up winning.

  6. bud

    Mark, I disagree. This “open marriage” thing is entirely new and is a completely fair revelation. Newt is running in a very evangelical state that values faithfulness and truthfulness. This particular allegation sheds new light on a man who obviously has no scruples, values or any other moral qualities becoming of a president. And keep in mind this isn’t some hearsay allegation it is coming from his second wife, a woman I’m sure Newt wishes would just shut up.

  7. Brad

    Here’s the statement that Gingrich released in response to Perry’s statement:

    “I am humbled and honored to have the support of my friend Rick Perry. His selflessness is yet another demonstration of his deep sense of citizenship and commitment to the cause of limited government, historic American values and greater freedom for every American.

    “Governor Perry will continue to be a leader for the cause of conservatism, especially for more American energy and for implementing the 10th Amendment across the country.

    “South Carolinians have a chance this Saturday to nominate a bold Reagan conservative who will offer a dramatic contrast with President Obama this fall in the general election.

    “I ask the supporters of Governor Perry to look at my record of balancing the budget, cutting spending, reforming welfare, and enacting pro-growth policies to create millions of new jobs and humbly ask for their vote.”

  8. bud

    An avalanche of new polls shows Gingrich and Romney in a virtual dead heat. For us political junkies it just doesn’t get any better than this.

  9. twolittlestars

    Um, no. God himself couldn’t humble someone like Newt.

    I sure hope that SC conservatives are smarter than to cast a vote for Newt. But then, I’m probably expecting too much. 😉

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