Posted: 8:34 pm Friday, September 11th, 2015

Rick Perry becomes first GOP casualty of 2016 

By Jamie Dupree

Unable to gain any traction in the Republican race, former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas bowed out of the battle for the GOP nomination on Friday, taking one more round of shots at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

“We have a tremendous field – the best in a generation – so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands,” Perry said in a speech.

While not mentioning Trump by name, Perry’s speech was filled with lines that pointed directly at the Republican leader.

“Demeaning people of Hispanic heritage is not just ignorant, it betrays the example of Christ,” Perry said at one point.

“It is time to elevate our debate from divisive name-calling, from soundbites without solutions,” Perry added.

Trump – who had bitterly sparred with Perry in the summer – took the high road as the former Texas Governor exited the race.

Perry’s decision means that only four Republicans will be at the pre-debate debate next Wednesday in California, while eleven GOP candidates will be on the main debate stage.

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