(AUSTIN, Texas) — In a matter of twelve hours, Texas Gov. Rick Perry wavered from being “all in,” to “reassessing” his campaign, to finally settling on soldiering on in the Republican nominating contest, with his eye on South Carolina to offer the opportunity to turn around his struggling campaign.
“The governor said what he said Tuesday night for a reason. He truly did want to assess the lay of the land regarding the Republican field, regarding South Carolina and regarding the organizational and financial situation of our campaign,” Ray Sullivan, communications director for the Perry campaign said.
Following Perry’s caucus night speech, Sullivan assured reporters further news about the state of his campaign would not come until Thursday.
Between the twelve hours that he took the stage to announce his decision to return to Texas to reassess his campaign after a fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses and the moment he tweeted he would continue his campaign and head to South Carolina, Perry discussed his options with his family, political advisors, including Sullivan and senior advisor Joe Allbaugh, and staff on the ground in South Carolina.
Despite the belief held by many staffers that the Texas governor would call his presidential bid quits once he returned to Texas, Perry opted to stay in the race after evaluating the political and financial dynamics of the field coupled with strong pressure from his wife, Anita.
“He wants to soldier on and believes that his record and conservative message and status as the only non-establishment Washington, outsider left in the field are good matches with the citizens of South Carolina and is committed to working hard there,” Sullivan said.
Perry, who has not held a public event since Tuesday evening, cancelled eleven events between Wednesday and Friday, at least one of which some aides expected to see a crowd larger than he had encountered in Iowa. The GOP hopeful heads to New Hampshire Friday evening for two debates over the weekend and will fly down to South Carolina for his first event in Spartanburg Sunday afternoon, but he will begin to make his presence known in the Palmetto State before he even sets foot there.
An aide to Perry told ABC News the campaign will begin running television ads statewide on broadcast and cable in South Carolina on Friday.
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