NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Texas Governor Rick Perry announced today he is abandoning his bid for the White House.
"Today I'm suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for the Presidency of the United States," Perry said. "I will leave the trail and return home to Texas and wind down my 2012 campaign and I will do so with pride"
His run for the white house ends in South Carolina, the same place it began last August.
A quick spike in the polls pushed Perry to the top of a crowded GOP field, but he did not fair well as the frontrunner, struggling through the first round of debates, factual errors on the stump.
Then came the fateful CNBC debate in November where Perry paused for almost a full minute and ultimately could not name the third department he planned to abolish if elected president.
There is no question the game is tightening for Republicans.
The Des Moines Register reported this morning that Rick Santorum finished 34 votes ahead of Mitt Romney in Iowa, momentum he hopes will help now in South Carolina with one less candidate in the race.