YNN’s Alana Rocha filed the above video report from Des Moines.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a crowd of his supporters Tuesday night that he plans to return to Texas to assess the viability of his campaign.

After a bumpy road to the Iowa caucus, the governor placed fifth in the running.

“With the voters’ decision tonight I’ve decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight’s caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race,” Perry said. “I believe that this is the greatest nation on the face of the earth."

A Perry official confirmed members of Perry’s campaign had plane tickets back to Texas Wednesday.

"I wasn’t expecting to hear that," Perry supporter Rick Morales said. "You know the American people, especially here in Iowa they spoke today and we’ll see where we go from here."

Earlier in the evening, Perry was trying to shift focus to the upcoming South Carolina primary. He planned to skip next week’s New Hampshire primary in favor of spending more time in South Carolina for their caucus scheduled Jan. 21.

"I think it’s very informed and intelligent to go back and ask yourself, ‘Where do I go from here? What do I ask of my supporters?’" Perry supporter Don Ward said.

More than 500 supporters spent their own money to travel from around the country to caucus for Perry Tuesday. Despite his poor finish, they say they’ll be with him no matter his decision.

"It could be good. He just said he’s going to go home and think about it. That doesn’t mean it’s the end," Perry supporter Susan Hackney said. "He knows what he’s doing, and you know if he wants to continue moving forward, we’re with him. If not, then we’re with him anyway."

Fellow GOP candidates Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney landed in a tug-of-war for the top spot, both receiving 25 percent of the vote. At the end of the night, Romney beat out Santorum by eight votes.

In third came Rep. Ron Paul, who said his finish is a strong message to the status quo.

"Too often, those who preach limited government and small government, they forget,
that invasion of your privacy is big government,” Paul said. “We have to emphasize protecting your personal rights and your economic rights, are what the government’s supposed to do. They’re not supposed to run our lives or spend our money."

Rep. Paul was followed by Newt Gringrich, who spoke highly of Santorum in his speech to supporters.

Michele Bachmann placed sixth.

Several other GOP candidates have already indicated they’ll skip New Hampshire to focus on South Carolina.



Watch the governor’s full speech the video above.