Reaction to Perry's decision to drop out

Posted Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012

Reaction to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's decision to drop out:

"In many ways we had a candidate who was ideal for the Republican primary. On paper he was perfect. He had the evangelical Christians, the Tea Party, he was the governor of a state that was doing well economically. ... (But) by jumping in so late, he was unprepared for the rigors of a national campaign."

--Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston

"The winner today is the state of Texas."

--Katon Dawson, Perry's South Carolina campaign chairman

"Following Governor Perry's decision to withdraw from the presidential race, Make Us Great Again will begin the process of winding down in full accordance with FEC regulations. ... Make Us Great Again was established for the specific purpose of supporting Gov. Rick Perry's candidacy for President. Donors to Make Us Great Again contributed with the intent to help elect Governor Perry as our next President. It would be inappropriate to utilize their contributions for any other purpose or candidate. Accordingly, Make Us Great Again will not be engaged in making further expenditures now that Gov. Perry is no longer a candidate for President."

--Scott Rials, Executive Director, Make Us Great Again

"Governor Perry's campaign was over before it began due directly to his attacks on Social Security. The future of Social Security is too important to the well-being of future generations of workers to be shaped by incorrect comparisons and misleading arguments by politicians who seek to end Social Security."

--Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works

"He never figured out a way to recover (after the debates). He finally got a good performance in the last debate. The whole problem here was not lack of intelligence but he just didn't get himself ready. He didn't go to school like he should have. He didn't understand what was required at that level."

--Bruce Buchanan, government professor at the University of Texas in Austin

"He was at a disadvantage from the beginning I believe by being regarded as the 'tough tall Texan' and if he stumbled he would be pushed around a lot by the national media and his opponents as he was - Saturday Night Live style. But in recent weeks he has shown a side of humility, humor, self-deprecation which will serve him well as he returns to Texas."

--Allan Saxe, an associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Arlington

"He never thought his candidacy through. He never devised a campaign strategy. He seemed to assume that once he entered the race, the nomination would come to him."

--Jack Pitney, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in southern California

"I was a little surprised about the poor campaign that Perry ran because he has done well in Texas. That said, I think that was the problem because he has not really been tested in Texas to the same extent that a candidate is during a presidential campaign."

--Craig Goodman, assistant professor of political science at Texas Tech University

"Another presidential run is a bridge too far. No Senate seat is going to be available for a long time. What else is there? It's not obvious. He isn't going to be the VP nominee either. Maybe a Cabinet officer - though not for the three - or was it four? - he wanted to abolish."

--Larry Sabato, a political analyst and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia

Compiled by staff writers Anna M. Tinsley, Aman Batheja and Maria Recio.

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