Perry Says He Will Consider Running For President

AUSTIN (AP) – Governor Rick Perry, the longest serving chief executive in the state’s history and a politician who has never lost an election, said Friday he will consider seeking the Republican nomination for president.

The outspoken conservative, who for months said he wasn’t interested in running for the White House, said he will consider entering the race after the Texas Legislature adjourns Monday.

“I’m going to think about it,” Perry said. “I think about a lot of things.”

It was a stark reversal from his previous insistence that he would not seek the presidency, and one that could shake-up the GOP race. Perry would enter with unquestioned conservative bona fides and a proven fundraising record, adding a fresh voice to field narrowed by the decisions of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels not to run.

Perry has been the center of a presidential buzz during the past week, kicked up as many Republicans lamented the remaining slate of candidates vying for the opportunity to challenge President Barack Obama. The talk increased last week after his speech to Republican insiders in Dallas won rave reviews. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh spent 20 minutes on his talk show a few days later espousing Perry’s appeal as a candidate.

When asked about the race before Friday, Perry had said repeatedly he was focused on the state’s legislative session and not the 2012 race. He reiterated Friday that his focus is on Texas, but answered with a swift “yes sir” when asked if he would consider running for president once the session was over.

“There is a huge opening (in) the Republican presidential primary for someone with strong credentials with the tea party and social conservatives,” said Mark McKinnon, a longtime political consultant and former George W. Bush political adviser. “Rick Perry has great credentials with both, he’s the longest serving governor in Texas history and is about to finish what conservatives will view as a very successful legislative session because he balanced the budget through spending cuts.

“The only real question is: Why wouldn’t he run?”

So far, operatives in Perry’s circle are not laying the groundwork and he has yet to make the required trips to the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina. And later Friday, Perry spokesman Mark Miner tried to downplay the comments.

“Of course he thinks about it, it’s natural to think about it,” Miner said. “But that doesn’t change the fact that he has no intention of running.”

When asked by The Associated Press if Perry himself would be willing to say he has “no intention” of running, Miner refused to make him available and declined to say why the governor couldn’t personally address the issue.

Perry has been a darling of the tea party and could ignite a groundswell of support among the libertarian-leaning, anti-tax movement. He was an early endorser of the groups that helped Republicans take control of the U.S. House, statehouses and governors’ offices in 2010.

The loosely organized tea party movement hasn’t yet gelled around a candidate, despite efforts from declared candidates Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich to win them over.

“The candidates that are running are not the candidates that people want,” said Ryan Hecker, organizer of the Contract From America and member of the Houston Tea Party Society. “They’re looking for someone, almost wistfully.”

Perry, Hecker said, “would be an excellent addition to the field.”

In recent years, Perry has made a sport out of bashing Washington. Most often, he attacks the federal government for failing to secure the U.S. border with Mexico. In November, he published a book, “Fed Up!”, which describes the federal government as financially reckless and out of control while calling for a resurgence of state-based power.

Should he decide to run, Perry would presumably come to the table without at least one of the top advisers who helped him win re-election last year by 13 points. His campaign manager from that bid, Rob Johnson, is with Gingrich. Political adviser Dave Carney, a former aide to President Ronald Reagan, also is with Gingrich — although he still serves as Perry’s senior political strategist.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Gumby Rules

    “Logue led a delegation of California lawmakers that visited Austin in April to see why so many businesses from the state had moved to Texas.”

    Its called tax breaks and poor regulation of state departments like the Texas Department of Insurance, who have rules to follow, but hey they only apply to an employee and not a company.

  • Hoo

    Rick as the GOP candidate is a sure way for Obama to be re-elected!

  • upchkn

    PLEASE reconsider, Gov. Perry. It’s not that we want to keep you as Gov., it’s just that we already have one arrogant s. o. b. in the White House.

    • Todd

      no Bush left a few years back !

  • Todd

    hahahaha So funny ! Perry is a joke around the world and he thinks he can be president? NOT ! Would Perry even carry Texas anymore? Probably not since he keeps signing useless bills into law that will be struck down in court.Oh and don’t get me started on the kick backs and bribes he takes daily.

    • Arthur

      @ Todd
      You’re absolutely right!!!

    • Salty1

      the joke is in the White House, he had no experience at anything yet he flim, flammed the peole into voting for him, this will not happen again. We need a president who can make decisions and move forward with them, not one who waits weeks to see what the political climate is like. Obie is done, get used to itm he has lost the independant voters and they will not returm to his vision of what hope and change is, right now we are hoping that he does not tax the working classs so much that we no longer have some speare change at the end of the week….

  • C Bauer

    From one true conservative to another “conservative”, RICK, can you try and get a private sector job and earn some respect BEFORE running for the nation’s highest office?

  • gay

    ROTFLMAO! His kidding right? that would be a big waste of money Chickin RICK!

  • GOP Drone

    I would not vote for this assclown.

  • NiteNurse

    Yikes an Aggie in the White House???

  • Kim Dar

    If he runs, Obummer will be re-elected hands down and personally I don’t think this country could live through another 4 years of him.

    • NiteNurse

      Don’t worry if we survived “W’ we’ll survive anyone.

  • concerned conservative

    I hope Rick Perry runs. Our best presidents have come from Texas and the country desperately needs him to straiten out the Democratic mess.

  • E D Ker

    The GOP made the mess (Pres Buah) and now you think they can fix it ? come on use your brain.

    • C Bauer

      Who’s President Buah, drunkie? Or are you just illiterate? Judging by your poor punctuation and lack of proper capitalization, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say the latter.

      • NiteNurse


  • jake34

    @E D Ker, you have to remember that conservatives have a very short political memory, and only then the only thing they remember is what they are told by conservative media.

    • Hemroidious

      Wow jake! How did you figure that out? Keep believing that. You are so smart.

    • NiteNurse

      If it wasn’t for us liberal intellectuals they would be in big trouble.

  • Yeah Right

    Heh. Rick Perry as the Republican Nominee for president is the only thing that would make my family vote for Obama.

  • No Thanks.

    Prior to his announcement, I would have considered voting for anybody to get Obamey out of the WH, but I know now my sentiment could not hold true. I would not vote for Perry if he got the GOP nod.

  • k bickham

    why did he run for gov again if he is going to abandon the job & state to run for president. he should have given someone else the opportunity to be a committed full time full term gov

  • oldman69

    maybe this is what all of the end of the worlders(2012) are talking about-another Republican ds in the White house-that would be the end of our life as we know it-anybody remember ole George?Perry would be just like him-no brains and someone’s hand up his backside making his lips move-remember ole Karl?

  • KeithStone

    Better get out those cryin’ towels Lib’s. Perry will run and he will win. We have seen the last of Hussain Obama.

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