Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is out of money, out of staff, and now out of the presidential race.
Perry will tell members of the Eagle Forum that his second campaign for the presidency is over. The writing has been on the wall for a couple of months as his entire paid staff resigned or were let go and fundraising dried up.
“When I gave my life to Christ, I said, ‘your ways are greater than my ways. Your will superior to mine,’ Perry will tell the audience at the Eagle Forum’s summit, according to prepared remarks. “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.”
Perry becomes the first 2016 presidential candidate to suspend their campaign.
In an interview last month, as the campaign stopped paying staffers amid mounting money woes, Perry’s team insisted it saw a path forward that would keep the former Texas governor’s candidacy alive through to the start of next year’s caucuses and primaries.
“At the end of the day, it’s not the national poll numbers that will dictate who our nominee is,” said campaign manager Jeff Miller. “It’s who can perform well in these early states.”
The Perry campaign reported raising $1.14 million in the second quarter of this year and on July 15 reported having $883,913 on hand.
Meanwhile, Perry’s well-funded allied super PACs expanded their operations to compensate for the campaign’s shortcomings. The Opportunity and Freedom PACs, which had raised nearly $17 million and initially planned to focus on paid television advertisements, also said it would be building a ground game in Iowa.
But Iowa campaign chairman Sam Clovis quit earlier this month.
“I feel bad for the campaign and I feel bad for Governor Perry because I think he’s a marvelous human being, he’s a great man and it was my honor to be a part of this, but it was just time to move on,” said Clovis.
Perry had struggled to rise in polls, and failed to qualify for last month’s prime-time debate in Cleveland — a clear setback. He appeared in the undercard debate, only to see Fiorina, a former technology executive, have what many observers considered a breakout performance.
Perry is certainly a talented politician but in both 2012 and today, he was never able to harness his gifts and present himself as a viable candidate. At times in 2012, he appeared unprepared and ill at ease. This time around, he was never able to break from the pack and offer anything that would allow him to stand out.
As of now there are at least two other candidates running vanity campaigns. Jim Gilmore and Lindsey Graham don’t have a prayer and frankly, never did. But they don’t need money or paid staff to get TV face time.
Perry was an intriguing candidate who probably won’t be considered for the vice presidential nomination. With Texas in the bag and other conservatives who could bring a state with them if they joined the ticket, Perry will be on the sidelines when the 2016 campaign begins in earnest.