Perry exits race

The following is the text of Gov. Perry’s
speech today as he withdraws from the race for President of the United States. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.