The Washington Times - January 19, 2012, 05:31PM

The Republican presidential field has been whittled down to four candidates.  Texas Governor Rick Perry’s withdrawal from the race leaves former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum to spar tonight at CNN’s debate in North Charleston, South Carolina. 

Reporters spoke with Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan who described how Governor Perry came to the decsion to drop out of the race. It began on Wednesday night on the governor’s airplane.  


 “I flew down with the governor from Greenville to (Charleston). He made some comments on the airplane that made me curious,” said Sullivan. “I was asking him how we were going to handle Saturday night and he said, ‘I know what I’m going to do. I’ve got it taken care of.’”

I asked, ‘Do you need any prepared remarks?’ He said, ‘No, I’m good.’”

Sullivan, who has been with the Perry campaign since it;’s launch back in August during the Iowa Straw Poll explained that he became “curious” at that point. 

“Needless to say that makes people in my position curious. So we stopped off at Wendy’s (in Charleston) on the way to the airport to the hotel,” Sullivan said. 

“And I followed him in and I said, ‘Alright. here’s what I’m telling reporters what’s going on: ‘He’s informed me and others on our staff that it was his intention to leave the race.’”

According to Sullivan, Perry believed he had the financial capability and structure to follow through to South Carolina after he lost devastatingly in the Iowa caucuses. Furthermore, Mr. Perry did not want to have any regrets if he did not at least try to campaign any further past Iowa. 

“I think he just decided, like he said in his speech, that there was not a path for victory or to moving forward out of South Carolina.”