Rick Perry intends to use a speech in South Carolina on Saturday to make clear that he’s running for president, POLITICO has learned.
According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston.
It’s uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry’s decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll — and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire — will send shock waves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll.
Immediately following his speech in South Carolina, Perry will make his New Hampshire debut at a house party at the Portsmouth-area home of a state representative, Pamela Tucker, the Union Leader reported Monday. Tucker was among the Granite Staters who went to Texas last week to encourage Perry to run.
Perry is expected to head to Iowa in the days following his New Hampshire trek, too, POLITICO has learned.
This isn’t a huge surprise, as the writing has been on the wall for some time now. Nevertheless the “official” announcement will be exciting for those of us who wanted to see him in the mix, for reasons Politico gets right here:
The Texan would immediately be a formidable figure in the race, appealing to conservatives hungering for more options — particularly in states where the GOP base is heavily conservative, like Iowa and South Carolina, Perry would have an opportunity to unite both tea party activists and more traditional party regulars who want a mix of conservatism and electability.
The “electability” thing is what has bothered me the most about Congresswoman Bachmann. As much as I think she could stand toe to toe with Obama in any debate and, frankly, flatten him, she’s got baggage – some of it self-inflicted but most MSM-inflicted – that I think would harm her a great deal in the general election, as Democrats and their allies in the media would gleefully exploit.
I know some conservatives frown at the word “electability” because “electability” when used by mainstream media journalists typically means “moderate to liberal Republican.” We all remember how John McCain, as per the MSM, was the “electable” candidate back in 2008 – and we saw how that worked out. But Perry, in spite of what some people believe is a tendency to be a “Bush Republican”, is a different kind of electable, IMO. We’ve got a President whose economic policies have been an epic fail in terms of turning our economy around, whereas Texas under Perry has seen significant job growth. And as states are required to balance their budgets, Perry and the TX state legislature have done just that by trimming the fat out of the state budget and not raising taxes – in fact, he’s cut taxes for many businesses in Texas. This President, on the other hand, has been an epic failure in part because he’s never met a government program for “the poor” or tax on the “rich” that he didn’t like.
Because Barack Obama has been such a miserable failure on the key domestic issues (and not much better on foreign policy issues, I’m afraid) that are on the forefront of the minds of the American people right now (jobs, health care, social security, etc), Rick Perry, as a Governor with 11+ years of successful executive experience, has the potential to outshine him tenfold. My opinion is that he already has.
Of course, there are going to be some intra-party disagreements on Perry – especially as it relates to the immigration issue – but the total package is a darned good-looking one, in my view, and I hope Perry skeptics will get on board should he eventually become the nominee. Defeating Barack Obama is Priority One as far as I’m concerned, and I’ll stand alongside any conservative Republican who has the potential to do that.