Rick Perry on Wednesday said he is not dropping out of the GOP presidential race despite a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucuses and a pledge to "reassess" his campaign.
The Texas governor also called the Iowa primary “a pretty loosey-goosey process” and Iowa “a quirky place" in an attempt to downplay the results. Perry finished fifth of six candidates contending for the win.
"This wasn't a hard decision," Perry said, speaking in Iowa, according to multiple reports. "I'm excited about getting out with real Republicans," he said, also referring to "actual primaries."
He added, "Not that there aren't real Republicans here in Iowa, but the fact it is was a pretty loosey goosey process and you had a lot of people who were there that admitted they were Democrats voting in the caucuses last night."
"And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State ... Here we come South Carolina!!!" Perry tweeted from his account, along with a picture of himself, dressed in workout gear, giving a thumbs-up to the camera.
“I was out on the trail when it kind of came to me,” Perry told reporters, according to The Des Moines Register.
“It’s there, it’s clearly there,” he said, apparently speaking of the path forward for his campaign.
The message on Twitter came as Michele Bachmann announced she was suspending her campaign.
Perry won 10 percent of the vote in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, a disappointing result for the Texas governor who had hoped to see a surge in the state after concentrating his campaign efforts there with a two-week bus tour and dropping millions in advertising dollars over the past month.
Speaking after results were announced Tuesday night,
Perry told supporters he planned to return to Texas to reassess his
campaign. He was scheduled to be in South Carolina on
"With the voters' decision tonight in Iowa, I have decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus and determine whether or not there is a path forward for myself in this race," he said.
Perry's communications director, Ray Sullivan, originally told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Perry's decision about whether to continue the campaign "could come as early as Thursday."
His campaign still plans for the candidate to return home to Texas, according to reports, and then head to New Hampshire for the GOP debate this weekend.
Perry's campaign did not respond to The Hill's request for comment.
New Hampshire holds the next nominating contest on Jan. 10. There are two debates scheduled before that event — one on Jan. 7 and one on Jan. 8. Perry had confirmed his participation in both of those events.
South Carolina holds its contest third, on Jan. 21.
Perry's campaign has struggled to regain its status in the polls following a steep drop after his August debut, when he entered the presidential field as a front-runner.