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article imagePerry drops out of race for Republican presidential nomination

By Nathan Salant     Sep 12, 2015 in Politics
Saint Louis - Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the crowded race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Friday after an abbreviated campaign that failed to generate enough early support to qualify for nationally televised debates.
Perry thus becomes the first major candidate to withdraw from the Republican race, which has been noteworthy this year not only for its size but for the rise of billionaire developer and casino owner Donald Trump.
"Today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States," Perry said Friday during a speech in St. Louis, Mo., in which he praised the other candidates who had lined up to oppose him in the primaries.
"I step aside knowing our party is in good hands and, as long as we listen to the grassroots, the cause of conservatism will be, too," he said, according to the Cable News Network (CNN).
Friday's announcement came just one day after CNN announced that Perry had been excluded from next week's scheduled second Republican Party presidential debate because of low poll numbers.
Perry had been kept from appearing in the first Republican candidate debate last month when he failed to poll among the top 10 candidates.
But debates were never seen as Perry's strong point anyway, not since his 2012 campaign for the White House foundered after a series of lackluster debate performances, culminating in the November 2011 debate in which he forgot the name of the Department of Energy.
"I give you this news with no regrets," Perry said, adding that it had been "a privilege and an honor" to run for president.
His 2016 campaign had already run into money problems and he had stopped paying the salaries of some staff members in the early primary states of South Carolina and New Hampshire, CNN said.
Many of the laid-off campaign workers stayed on as volunteers, CNN said.
Perry had tried to portray himself as a thoughtful candidate with experience in foreign policy and economics, citing his experience at the border with Mexico and Texas' economic rebound.
He has promised to secure the southern border and to start over on negotiations with Iran on limiting nuclear power development, CNN said.
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