Perry staying in race, holding out for "actual primaries"

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, pauses on caucus night Tuesday in West Des Moines, Iowa. Perry announced in his remarks that he would return to Texas to "reassess" his campaign and determine whether there is a "path forward" for him in the 2012 race.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Rick Perry pauses on caucus night Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa, while announcing his decision to "reassess" his campaign.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Updated: 1:03 p.m. ET

Rick Perry on Wednesday said he will take his Republican presidential bid to the South Carolina primaries, despite speculation he would suspend his campaign in the wake of a disappointing fifth-place finish in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses.

In remarks to reporters in West Des Moines, Iowa, the Texas governor called the Iowa caucusing process "loosey goosey" and said he was looking forward to competing in "actual primaries."

"This wasn't a hard decision," Perry said. "[Iowa] is a quirky place, a quirky process to say the least and we're going to go into places where they have actual primaries and there are going to be real Republicans voting." 

"I'm excited about getting out with real Republicans and laying out --- and not that there aren't Real republicans here in Iowa, but the fact it is was a pretty loosey goosey process and you had a to of people who were there that admitted they were Democrats voting in the caucuses last night," he continued.

Earlier on Wednesday, Perry indicated his decision via a post on Twitter.

"And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State...Here we come South Carolina!!!" he tweeted.

The Palmetto state is key for Republican primary voters. Since 1980, the winner of the South Carolina primary has gone on to win the Republican nomination every time.

The candidate, who earned just 10 percent of the vote in Iowa Tuesday night after spending millions of dollars campaigning there, announced last night that he would be returning to Texas to "reassess" the best way forward for his campaign, fueling speculation he would drop out.

Perry communications director Ray Sullivan said Tuesday night that the campaign would be considering donor and grassroots support, as well as the South Carolina field, when deciding the path forward. He also said not to expect an official decision before Thursday.

Ultimately, it could come down to money. Many believe Perry would have an edge among southern voters, and a strong South Carolina finish could give the longtime Texas lawmaker a much-needed boost in momentum

and financial support. But the candidate spent heavily in Iowa with little return; whether or not he will be able to bring in enough cash to sustain his campaign going forward remains to be seen.

Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.