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Iowa Co-Chair: Perry Has “A Lot of Work to Do”

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune
Republican candidate for President, Texas Governor Rick Perry, rallies supporters in an early morning gathering of his 'strike force' on Iowa caucus day January 3, 2012.

Update at 11:38 p.m. Perry says he is returning to Texas to reconsider his presidential campaign.

Earlier: Results are still pouring in this evening from the Iowa GOP presidential caucuses, but they can’t meet the best hopes of Governor Rick Perry’s Iowa campaign. He surged to the top of the pack after announcing his run on August 13; Perry is now looking at a fourth or fifth place showing in Iowa.

KUT News talked to Perry’s campaign co-chair in Iowa, Bob Haus.

KUT News: Governor Perry has been asking people for a second look, but was it too late in the game for him to bring it around?

Bob Haus: I don’t know. Let’s wait for all the results to come in tonight. It looks like a pretty close battle for fourth place between he and [former House] Speaker Gingrich, so we’ll see how it all turns out.

I think it’s really important to remember that this is the first step in a very long process. Regardless of what tonight’s results are, he’s laid down plans to go into New Hampshire to do the debates, go into South Carolina and start campaigning, and he’s going to keep fighting on.

KUT News: How could the proportional representation system of choosing delegates help your candidate?

Haus: I think the important thing to remember is that it’s not a binding caucus. Our delegates will be elected later on in the nominating process for our delegates up to the national convention.

So there really will be zero delegates committed after Iowa tonight. But the proportional representation does make a very different race in 2012 than what we’ve seen in 2008.

KUT News: But you can’t be happy with this result, even if you get into fourth.

Haus: I’ve been around the caucus cycles probably more years than I wish to admit. This has been the strangest cycle I have ever been through. With the ups and downs and moving all over, and the front runners going up.

We really entered tonight without knowing what to expect. There was going to be a last minute movement. We tried to affect those people that may have been changing their mind.

I wouldn’t say that we’re disappointed. I think that we have a lot of work to do going forward, and he’s a guy that is no stranger to hard work, and he’ll do it.