Perry Staying In for “Actual Primaries”
Gov. Rick Perry’s bid for the GOP presidential nomination will continue, despite a fifth place finish in last night’s Iowa caucuses.
If you read it in the papers or heard it on the radio this morning, it seemed Perry was a dead man walking. He said last night he would come back to Texas to “reassess” his candidacy. That reassessment didn’t take long.
“I just said I was going to reassess,” Perry said today as he left his hotel in Iowa. “I reassessed. We’re headed to New Hampshire, and then to South Carolina.”
The announcement came as a surprise to many, even to some on his campaign staff. Perry said he went for a jog this morning, and it just kind of came to him.
“This wasn’t a hard decision,” he said. “This was one of those where you take a look, you didn’t do as well in Iowa as you wanted to. But this is a quirky place and a quirky process, to say the least. And we’re going to into places where they have actual primaries and there are going to be real Republicans voting.”
Perry called the Iowa process “loosy-goosey.” He pointed to Democrats who are allowed to register as Republicans for the caucuses.
Bob Haus, Perry’s Iowa campaign chairman, said there were likely a lot of those Democrats at the caucuses, supporting Ron Paul. And Haus added that while Perry may be down now, he’s certainly not out.
“We have always maintained there is only one other candidate other than Gov. Romney that’s got a national organization and a national message,” Haus said. “So we’re excited that he’s in.”
Perry said he’d attend a pair of debates in New Hampshire this weekend ahead of next Tuesday’s primary there. But mainly, he’ll concentrate on South Carolina, where he stands a much better chance of finding his footing in the race for the nomination.