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Rick Perry: South Carolina Is The Next Stop

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SPARTANBURG, SC- JANUARY 8: Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a campaign stop at the Beacon Drive-In January 8, 2012 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
SPARTANBURG, SC- JANUARY 8: Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a campaign stop at the Beacon Drive-In January 8, 2012 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

Rick Perry's campaign attempted to downplay his poor showing in New Hampshire, writing in a Tuesday evening statement that, effectively, he hadn't been trying to win the state anyway.

"Tonight's results in New Hampshire show the race for 'conservative alternative' to Mitt Romney remains wide open," Perry said in the statement. "I skipped New Hampshire and aimed my campaign right at conservative South Carolina, where we've been campaigning hard and receiving an enthusiastic welcome."

In fact, Perry spent a good amount of time in the state over the past few months, only bowing out there and heading to South Carolina over the past week.

He made a particularly memorable speech in the state in October, when he hugged a jug of maple syrup and some questioned whether he was drunk. In a November New Hampshire appearance, meanwhile, Perry mistakenly said that the national voting age is 21.

The statement continues:

I believe being the only non-establishment outsider in the race, the proven fiscal and social conservative and proven job creator will win the day in South Carolina.

South Carolina is the next stop. I have a head start here, and it's friendly territory for a Texas governor and veteran with solid outsider credentials, the nation's best record of job creation, and solid fiscal, social and Tea Party conservatism.

Perry received less than 1 percent of the vote.

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