Texas Governor Rick Perry said on Tuesday he would return home to assess his US Republican presidential bid after a distant fifth place showing in the Iowa caucuses.
"I have decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus to determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race," Perry, who had led polls of Republican presidential candidates only months ago, told supporters.
"With a little prayer and reflection, I'm going to decide the best path forward," he said.
Perry, 61, had roared past former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to take the lead in polls after getting in the race in August.
But he foundered after several stumbling debate performances where he was hammered over his immigration policies and for ordering young girls be vaccinated for a sexually transmitted virus.
He was ridiculed after a major debate stumble in November when he could not remember one of the three government agencies that he had repeatedly said he would eliminate if elected president.
Perry won only 10% of the vote in the Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the state-by-state battle for the Republican Party's presidential nomination to face Democratic President Barack Obama in the Nov 6 election.