Rick Perry has scheduled an 11:00 AM EST news conference where it is expected that he will announce that he is dropping out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
The National Journal is reporting that Perry will endorse Newt Gingrich for president.
Rick Perry plans to drop out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination on Thursday and will endorse Newt Gingrich, sources tell National Journal. Perry will make the announcement in North Charleston at 11 a.m.
The move by Perry to end his flailing campaign was inevitable; it only comes a few days sooner than expected. The Texas governor has been unable to gain a foothold in South Carolina, where he was depending on the state’s many evangelicals and social conservatives to give him a break-out win.
But polls show Perry running dead last in the Republican pack. He had only 4 percent support among likely GOP voters in South Carolina in a poll by NBC News/Marist published on Thursday, the same as his showing in a CNN/Time polls on Wednesday.
Even with the Perry endorsement, Newt has problems of his own today. Drudge is reporting that in an interview with ABC’s Brian Ross, Marianne Gingrich claims that her ex-husband wanted an “open marriage” and that he “lacks the moral character to be president”:
In her most provocative comments, the ex-Mrs. Gingrich said Newt sought an “open marriage” arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife.
She said when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a Congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.
“And I just stared at him and he said, ‘Callista doesn’t care what I do,'” Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. “He wanted an open marriage and I refused.”
Marianne described her “shock” at Gingrich’s behavior, including how she says she learned he conducted his affair with Callista “in my bedroom in our apartment in Washington.”
That’s just about as bad as it gets for a conservative Republican claiming to represent “family values.”
Update: Perry has indeed dropped out and endorsed Gingrich.