GOP primaries

Perry vows to fight on, regardless of result in South Carolina primary

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Sunday vowed to continue his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in Florida, regardless of his finish in the South Carolina primary.

“That’s our intention,” he told Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union. 

When she pressed him on whether he would stay in the race even if he finished last in South Carolina, Perry repeated that was his intention.

{mosads} Perry has stepped up his criticism of GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney in recent weeks, comparing Romney’s work at investmen- firm Bain Capital to a “vulture” scavenging dying animals.

As CEO of the private-equity firm Romney would take over struggling companies and attempt to restructure them, moves which sometimes resulted in bankruptcies or layoffs. Perry and Newt Gingrich have criticized Romney claiming he grew wealthy by shuttering businesses and firing workers.

Crowley asked Perry whether he is concerned that President Obama may use those attacks in ads against Romney in the general election.

Perry said it is better to address concerns about Romney’s past during the Republican primary.

He argued that his record on jobs compares favorably to Romney’s but stumbled over his words, saying, “We haven’t been destructing businesses or destructing jobs.”

Perry’s campaign suffered yet another setback on Saturday when a group of leading social conservative activists announced their endorsement of his rival, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.).

Perry admitted that he would have liked to have won the group’s endorsement, but said voters will ultimately decide the nomination. 

He argued that he, not Santorum, is “the most consistent social and fiscal conservative in the race.”

Crowley noted that Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council and a spokesman for the social conservative group, said that questions about Perry’s electability were why the group chose not to back him. 

“That’s what they said about Ronald Reagan in 1980,” Perry responded.


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