Jan. 19 - Texas governor Rick Perry ends his bid to be the Republican presidential candidate, endorses Newt Gingrich. Deborah Gembara reports.
Texas governor Rick Perry ended his bid for the White House on Thursday. SOUNDBITE: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry saying: "We need bold conservative leadership that will take on the entrenched interests and give the American people their country back. I've always believed the mission is greater than the man. As I've contemplated the future of this campaign, I've come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign. Therefore today I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for president of the United States." Perry's conservative views and his strong Tea Party support made him an early favorite to go head to head with president Obama. All of that however will likely be overshadowed by a moment that seemed to trigger his campaign's undoing. November 9th --- Rochester, Michigan. GOV. PERRY: OK. So Commerce, Education and -- the -- (pause) -- MR. ROMNEY: EPA? GOV. PERRY: EPA. There you go. (Laughter.) (Applause.) MR: HARWOOD: Seriously? Is EPA the one you were talking about? GOV. PERRY: No, sir. No, sir. We were talking about the agencies of government -- EPA needs to be rebuilt. There's no doubt about that. HARWOOD: But you can't -- but you can't name the third one? GOV. PERRY: The third agency of government. HARWOOD: Yes. GOV. PERRY: I would do away with the Education, the Commerce and -- let's see -- I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops. Perry never recovered from the stumble despite hopes he might have sway with South Carolina's evangelical Christians. On Thursday, he urged his followers to support Newt Gingrich. SOUNDBITE: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry saying: "I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country and we've had our differences which campaigns will inevitably have and Newt is not perfect but who among us is. The fact is there is forgiveness for those who seek God. It is a central tenant of my Christian faith. I have no question that Newt Gingrich has the heart of conservative reformer with an ability to rally and captivate the conservative movement, the courage to tell those Washington interests to take a hike if that's what's in the best interest of our country." The announcement comes amid a new development regarding the results of the Iowa caucuses -- the first state-by state nominating contest in which frontrunner Mitt Romney had been declared the winner. Now the midwestern state is announcing former Senator Rick Santorum won the contest by a razor-thin 34 votes -- which may give a boost to the social conservative ahead of the South Carolina primary on Saturday. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.