Rick Perry has announced he is pulling out of the US Republican nomination race. The Texas governor said he will now support Newt Gingrich’s run for the White House.
The news caps a remarkable reversal of fortune for the man who topped polls six months ago. But a spectacular series of gaffes on the campaign trail led to him becoming an also-ran.
In perhaps his most embarrassing mistake during a televised debate, Perry forgot the name of a government department he said he would scrap if he became president.
His exit now leaves just four contenders in the fight to face Barack Obama in November and provides a boost to Newt Gingrich who has been on the up recently.
But the outcome of Saturday’s primary in South Carolina remains wide open given news that front-runner Mitt Romney was not the winner of the Iowa caucuses as previously announced.
A final recount saw the former Massachusetts governor fall to second place, behind ex-senator Rick Santorum by only 34 votes.
According to Iowa’s Des Moines Register, the discrepancy was due to the fact that votes in eight precincts went missing.