Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), coming in a disappointing fifth place in the Iowa caucuses, sounded a somber note at his final speech on Tuesday, raising the possibility of ending his presidential campaign.
"With the voters' decision tonight in Iowa, I've decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus and determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race," Perry told his supporters.
"And with a little prayer and reflection, I'm going decide the best path forward," he added. "But I want to tell you, there has been no greater joy in my life than to be able to share with the people of Iowa and of this country that there is a model to take this country forward -- and it is in the great state of Texas."
Perry received just 10 percent of the Iowa vote.
The announcement upended what looked to be a very busy week for Perry, who had already decided to bypass New Hampshire's Jan. 10 primary in order to focus on South Carolina. On Tuesday night, Perry still had a total of 11 campaign events scheduled in the Palmetto State between Wednesday and Friday. They will presumably be called off while he reassesses his candidacy. Perry had hoped to do well in the largely Republican state.
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who skipped the Iowa caucuses, sent out a statement expressing his and his wife's "tremendous amount of respect and admiration for our friends Rick and Anita Perry" shortly after the Texas governor made his announcement.
"As he returns to Texas, where he implemented the kind of pro-growth policies that our country desperately needs and President Obama failed to deliver, we wish Rick and his family all the best," said Huntsman.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who finished sixth in the race, was facing pressure to drop out Tuesday night, including from her former campaign manager, Ed Rollins.
"At the end of the day she didn't quite pass the muster that she needed to be looked at as a credible candidate," he said. "I think if she goes on she's just going to go into debt," he said. "She'd be better off to endorse somebody today. She's not going to take my counsel, but I think at the end of the day don't go in debt."