Supporters: Perry Can Still Win SC
Following a disappointing finish in the Iowa Caucuses on Tuesday Gov. Rick Perry chose to return to Texas to reassess his position in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, rather than make several campaign stops planned for the Palmetto state.
It looks like Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn't calling it quits yet.
This morning, after announcing he was returning to Texas to reassess the race following a disappointing finish in the Iowa Caucuses and postponing several planned stops in South Carolina, Perry tweeted: "Here we come South Carolina!!!"
Coming in a distant fifth in the Iowa Caucuses is a far cry from the excitement and energy that surrounded Texas Gov. Rick Perry when he entered the GOP presidential race in Charleston in August.
Back then Gov. Nikki Haley called Perry a superstar. On Tuesday night Iowans overlooked Perry and rallied around former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul. When it was over, Perry announced he would return to Texas to reassess the race.
Meanwhile, many Perry supporters in the Palmetto State were holding out hope that Perry would continue his run for the nomination.
"He is the governor of a very large state and he has a lot of things on his plate," Patch blogger and conservative activist Billy Simons said. "But if he decides to stay in the race, I will continue to support him."
Simons believes that Perry can still win in South Carolina. Perry's record on job creation in Texas and his reputation for standing up to regulations are what won Simons over.
"I think in a year where the economy is so important, I liked his economic record the best," Simons said.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins chose to endorse Perry soon after he entered the race in the fall. Wilkins said he has no plans to give up on the Texas governor.
"I think he's wise to reassess the situation and determine what's best for him, what's best for his family," Wilkins said. "He's got a lot of things to consider like finances and strategy."
Wilkins said if Perry does decide to move forward, he will still have a solid chance to take a lead in the state.
"South Carolina would be a good state for him. He has the organization, he has the support and I think he could win South Carolina," Wilkins said.
S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor agrees.
"I'm thrilled that he has taken only a momentary pause and that he's on his way back to South Carolina" Taylor said. "He'll be back here Sunday afternoon and he will be spending a bunch of the time if not all of the time between now and Jan. 21 campaigning in South Carolina. This is his kind of state with his kind of people. They're Southern conservatives and he should do very, very well here."
Taylor reiterated his support for Perry as the only "true conservative" in the race and said the Texas governor's record should serve him well in S.C. primary voting.
"He has a true conservative track record while others' track records could be a lot less than that," Taylor said. "If people would actually look at the voting records of people and what they've accomplished, I believe they will find him to be the conservative candidate that could be president of the United States."
Taylor went on to discount the results in Iowa calling the caucus process "goofy."
"I think Iowa, with all due respect, it has a goofy electoral process," he said. "And 123,000 people showing up at caucuses, many of them Ron Paul supporters many of them not even Republicans does not make a statement for South Carolina and the rest of America. If anything the media would treat Iowa like the Super Bowl when it should be treated as more of a preseason game. It doesn't count."
Wilkins said Perry has led a strong campaign, but acknowledged that other candidates like Mitt Romney have the finances and organization to make more of an impact.
"There's only going to be one winner, we all know that, but Gov. Perry is an excellent candidate."
"If he's going to win anywhere it's going to be here in South Carolina," Wilkins added.
S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell endorsed Perry back in October and he stands behind his candidate, especially now, as Perry has decided to continue the campaign.
"We're looking forward to Gov. Perry coming to South Carolina," Harrell's spokesman Greg Foster said on Wednesday.