Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is out of the 2016 GOP presidential race.

“Today, I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States,” Perry said during his exit speech, given in St. Louis on Friday afternoon.

“2016 is the most important election of our lifetime,” he said. “It’s true, because we have had six and half years of expanding the welfare state and the contracting of the freedom state.”

America needs conservative values and policies, and it is important to unite Americans on issues, such as race, said Perry, who has — by far — the best economic record of any governor.

He said he steps aside knowing the party is in good hands — as long as they listen to the grassroots and follow conservatism. “For me the message has always been greater than the man,” Perry said about the conservative movement.

For several weeks, media outlets reported that the Perry campaign was running out of money, which Perry confirmed as he left the race.