Yesterday, I argued that Rick Perry should leave the GOP primary in advance of Saturday’s election and endorse Newt Gingrich, who is the most logical fit in the existing field for a Perry endorsement.
The Perry campaign responded that the race would be decided by voters, not pundits behind a computer.
Fair enough. Rick Perry does not want to be seen as a quitter. But quit he will. I do not want him to quit. I urged him to stay in the race. But sadly his campaign has been unable to get the second look I thought it deserved. Now, at this point, he and I both know he is going to quit the race. The only question is whether he quits now and saves us from Romney or quits Sunday and ensures us Romney.
It may suck, but it is reality. And we are forced at times like this to deal with reality. The reality is that Rick Perry will be quitting the race, but he is not quitting the fight, which has always been more important. We started campaign season with candidates asking what Washington can do for America. Through his singlehanded, tireless, and unfailing efforts, Rick Perry has managed to steer the conversation to what Washington cannot do for America and what Americans can do themselves if Washington just gets the hell out of the way.
Without Rick Perry in the race, that would never have happened. But sadly, at this point, with Rick Perry in the race the people most likely to campaign and govern with Perry’s conviction to make Washington as inconsequential in our lives as possible have no chance. For Rick Perry’s vision of America to win — something we should all want — Rick Perry must depart the race now.
It’s not like I relish taking this position. I introduced Rick Perry at the 2011 RedState Gathering as the next President of the United States. He remains the best qualified man to be President. I would be thrilled to have him as my President. But he is polling in last place and there are three days to go. It isn’t going to happen.
But throwing his support to one of the other non-Romney candidates could help that person win.
Rick Perry will quit. He knows it. I know it. You know it. The question is whether he will quit before Saturday’s primary and help someone else win as a hero and king maker, or will he quit next week and see Mitt Romney win with Perry serving as the spoiler, keeping either Gingrich or Santorum from winning.