And then there were four: Rick Perry has dropped out of the GOP presidential race.
In a press conference Thursday in North Charleston, South Carolina, Perry said he realized there was no "viable path forward" for him in the race.
The Texas governor emphasized that the GOP race was never about the candidates, but about replacing President Obama with a conservative.
Perry, who has never lost an election, entered the field amid much fanfare in August, only to plummet in the polls following a series of poor debate performances and gaffes. As it turned out, he was only the first GOP candidate to skyrocket to the top of the field, only to fall dramatically a few weeks later.
Jon Huntsman ended his bid earlier this week.
Perry endorsed opponent Newt Gingrich, who has been gaining ground in South Carolina on front-runner Mitt Romney over the past several days. Perry touted Gingrich as a "conservative visionary" would "transform our country."
Prior to Perry's announcement, many conservatives had called on him to drop out of the campaign, saying that Perry was splitting the conservative vote with Gingrich and Rick Santorum, giving Mitt Romney an easier path to victory.
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