Remarks in West Des Moines Following the Iowa Caucus
[remarks joined in progress]
He said it brought me to tears to see a man who feared the war. And when you told that soldier, or you called him your Christian brother, he said, blew me away. He said I want so much for me to know that -- he said I want you to know that I got to know your son and I got to meet your wife, Anita. Your family is wonderful. I've enjoyed my visits with your staff along the way. Ray Sullivan and Joe, they are great people. Basically, I want you to know you matter and are making a difference. I visited a thousand homes today, and you better -- you matter to them also. This has to be the greatest honor of my life. And you need more volunteers to help you in South Carolina, count me in. I'll be happy to serve you again. Thank you! Colton Smith from Texas. [applause]
I wanted to read that to you. [applause]
And he P.S.'d it by saying, sorry about rambling so much, but he said I've been out. It's 1:30 in the morning, and I've been out putting out signs, 400 signs. That's what it's all about, folks. That is what this has all been about. And I just want to say thank you to everyone who's come and volunteered and worked and made the most incredible experience for myself and for the woman that I've been so blessed to have by my side all these many years, for 30 years of my life of wedded Bliss. [applause]
There's not anybody that's fought any harder, that's been a greater partner than my wife, Anita, and my sweetheart, and the love of my life. And we're blessed tonight to be standing on this stage and representing the state of Texas, and frankly, representing America. And I think the values that are so important to our country, and to be here with my children, Griffin and Meredith and Sydney.
You know when I began this campaign a little more than four months ago. I didn't do it because it was a lifelong ambition to be the president of the United States. I did it because our country's in trouble. Many of you have heard the story of us, Anita sitting on the couch and talking about that this wasn't my purpose in life.
But our country was in trouble. And it was my duty to serve my country one more time. And this campaign's never been about me. It's about a movement of Americans who see our country that's really not on the track that most of us want it to be on. $15 trillion of debt, some 50 million Americans that are on food stamps, 13 million of us, 13 million of our fellow citizens that are out of work. They don't see a Washington that's willing to make hard decisions, to help them, to get them back on their feet again. They're looking for people to make some right decisions. They're looking for someone that will stand up and give them hope that we can get this country back on track again.
But with the voters' decision tonight in Iowa, I decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus. Determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race. I believe that this is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. A nation that I was blessed to serve as a pilot in the United States air force, a nation that has been and will continue to be a beacon for freedom around the world.
And Dan Marin, you, marines like yourself, soldiers that are serving still today and airmen, sailors around the world, you've made every minute of this worth it for ourselves and with a little prayer and reflection, I'm going to decide the best path forward. 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. God bless you and thank you all for being with us.
Rick Perry, Remarks in West Des Moines Following the Iowa Caucus Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/300312