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Rick Perry to End Presidential Bid

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is dropping out of the Republican presidential race, according to multiple news reports.

His campaign has announced a news conference at 11 a.m. today in North Charleston, S.C. The Associated Press is reporting that Perry will back former Speaker Newt Gingrich. CNN first reported the news of Perry’s departure from the race.

Perry finished fifth in the Iowa caucuses and had been polling in the single digits in South Carolina. He is the second GOP candidate this week to drop out. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman dropped out of the race on Monday night.

There was much speculation that Perry would exit the race after his disappointing finish in Iowa. He opted to continue his campaign in South Carolina.

Another blow to his campaign came Wednesday when‘s Erick Erickson wrote, “If Rick Perry stays in the race, conservatives opposed to Mitt Romney will be legitimately able to blame Rick Perry for dragging down either Newt or [former Sen. Rick] Santorum.”

Perry had a strong start to the campaign in August. So strong that he mitigated Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) bounce after her win in the Ames Straw Poll.

But as the nomination fight progressed, his campaign began to falter. Most notably, he forgot a talking point midsentence during a CNBC debate in early November.

Perry, who has never lost an election, was able to push on because of strong early fundraising.

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