Exploratory committee not likely for Perry
July 27th, 2011
01:02 PM ET
7 years ago

Exploratory committee not likely for Perry

Washington (CNN) - If Texas Gov. Rick Perry decides to run for president - a safe bet according to many Republicans - he is likely to bypass the traditional step of forming an exploratory committee and jump head-first into the GOP primary fight.

Perry adviser David Carney told CNN that he doubts there would be enough time to pursue a formal "testing the waters" phase in advance of a full-blown campaign effort. The governor is expected to make a final decision about the presidential race sometime in middle to late August.

Most of the Republican candidates, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, created exploratory committees ahead of their official campaign launches.

"Rick Perry is not a half-in kind of person on anything, ever," Carney told CNN. "If he decides to move forward he'll be all in. If he is out, he'll be out just as quickly. But we have not made any hard decisions yet."

Exploratory committees allow potential candidates to raise and spend a limited amount of money as they contemplate whether to run for president. They are loosely defined and generally considered a formality on the path to an official campaign effort.

An exploratory committee would probably be useless in Perry's case, since he and his advisers have already been doing their own political prospecting for weeks.

Perry has placed calls to key Republican officials and activists in the early caucus and primary states to measure support. He has also been consulting with high-level GOP donors about putting together a muscular financial operation that could be sustained in a general election match-up against President Barack Obama.

The emerging consensus in GOP circles is that a Perry bid is all but certain.

"If Perry doesn't run, it's because something strange and unexpected happens in the next three weeks," said one Republican who has recently spent time with the governor.

Perry's foremost concern, according to those who have spoken with him, is the question of whether he can raise enough money to be competitive in both the Republican primaries and the general election. Perry raised roughly $40 million during his 2010 re-election bid, but Texas campaign finance regulations are looser than federal ones.

Supporters of the governor welcomed more than 40 major Republican donors to Austin last week to map out a potential campaign and discuss how much money would be required to run successfully in each of the early primary states and beyond.

Barry Wynn, a South Carolina-based fund-raiser who flew to Austin for the meeting, said he believes that Perry is down "to the last one or two checks" on his presidential checklist and is conducting some final due diligence on the financial front.

Wynn called Perry "a ball of energy" and contrasted him with that other Texas governor who ran for president, George W. Bush.

"I think he is certainly a real Texan," he said. "He is not a Yale-educated Texan. He is Texas A&M Texan, which is a little different flavor. He has got a swagger."

Wynn, a confidante of Sen. Jim DeMint, is involved in the planning of an upcoming presidential forum in South Carolina that will be hosted by DeMint, a popular figure among grass-roots conservatives.

Wynn said he plans to remain neutral until after the Labor Day forum in Columbia, but strongly hinted he would back Perry. And Wynn said he could envision DeMint lining up behind Perry in the coming months because of the governor's vocal opposition to federal spending.

Filed under: 2012 • Jim DeMint • Rick Perry
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    If Texas Gov. Rick Perry decides to run for president – a safe bet according to many Republicans – he is likely to bypass the traditional step of forming an exploratory committee and jump head-first into the GOP primary fight.
    He doesn't look before he leaps. Thanks for the info.

    July 27, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. ConservaFASCISTS/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    He needs to explore where his brain is. I really would like to see an America without a Texas. This dufus doesn't even realize how bad that would hurt the economy of Texas which is primarily a military state with over 10 major bases in it.

    July 27, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. End GOPorate greed.

    A delusional red-neck who can't speak English representing the Republican Fascist elitists with hopes to be President by whoring himself to the right wing religious extremists. Sound familiar?

    July 27, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    We already had one village idiot from tx. Not gonna happen again!

    July 27, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Perry raised roughly $40 million during his 2010 re-election bid, but Texas campaign finance regulations are looser than federal ones.
    That's a scarey thought. They have something worse than PAC that can spend unlimited amounts for anonymouse donors who can donate unlimited amounts.

    July 27, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota


    It doesn't matter to me whether you *buy* it or not, Fair. Considering I haven't bought anything you (or any other GOPer) has said for the past three years now, we'll just chalk it up as a draw. Fact is, whether you care to admit it or not, the debt ceiling does have to be raised ... all that borrowing from the Bush Administration catching up to us, you understand. Call me a bleeding heart if you will, but I actually do like to see our poor and vulnerable get their social security checks and other pensions as needed. Having witnessed what happens to a 401K when GOPers are in charge really, really causes me terrible indigestion. I'd rather not repeat financially what happened in 2007. So difficult to dig oneself out. For the rest, it's all Republican BS, you know it, and I know it. Want more revenue, raise taxes. Want cuts, eliminate the truly wasteful spending, of which I will admit, there is a pile of to eliminate, trillions if you include wasteful military and defense spending, and tax loopholes for the rich (corporate and private sector). And, yes, we'll add in Medicare and Social Security fraud, both parties being able to boast voter membership of, so to speak.

    July 27, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Palin and Perry are playing "the wait and see game" with the debt ceiling. Palin's movie has crapped out because Americans finally see that she's full of crap and nothing else atleast Bachmann was hanging right in there doing the heavy lifting while Palin "retreated" because she is limited. On the other hand there's pretty Rick Perry who knows America doesn't want another president from Texas.

    July 27, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Swagger, not intelligence, is the number one quality that republicans look for in a presidential candidate. Look at what the other dim wit governor of Texas with swagger did to our country.

    July 27, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    What...a politician avoiding an opportunity to form a committee?!?! He must be a Republican. He can make a decision without a room full of political advisors.

    July 27, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Bill NY

    Thats the first good news I've heard all week.

    July 27, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    He might win if he promises to take Arizona and Mississippi with him when Texas secedes from the United States. Someone told me that Perry is white, and that will help him with the baggers.

    July 27, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    We don't need any more Texans in the White House. Secede - take Alaska with you.

    July 27, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. SCAtheist

    Please run Ricky – you guys are so much fun. I'll have to go back and pray for God's guidance to decide if it's you or Michele in the SC primary.

    July 27, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Dave Harris

    He's already consulted Jesus, so what more does he need?

    July 27, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Shelby

    “And Wynn said he could envision DeMint lining up behind Perry in the coming months because of the governor's vocal opposition to federal spending.”
    When ricky perry was a democrat, he voted for one of the highest tax increases in Texas EVER.
    And, hmm, isn’t DeMint a strong social Conservative? Before he, or anyone else, supports ricky perry, they need to do their HOMEWORK on this man.
    This is the man who constantly talks about his faith and often has very public prayers, YET he seems to not much care for sharing his considerable wealth with his church.

    Check out the June 12 story from the ‘San Antonio Express-News’ titled: “Perry has not overburdened the collection plate–Governor's modest religious donations are raising eyebrows”. Excerpt :

    “Perry's top income year since becoming governor came in 2007 when he reported $1,092,810 in adjusted gross income ..... His total charitable cash contributions that year totaled $413.”

    Why would anyone ever trust this hypocrite?

    July 27, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. timz

    Maybe Rick Perry should just stick with his plans for secession which I think a significant majority of the country would endorse (provided Texas refunds the massive discrepancy between the federal money it's received and its actual federal tax contributions). Just one less welfare state for the rest of us to support.

    While they're at it, maybe they could refund the portion of our national debt rung up by the last Texan in the White House, too.

    With Perry as the new King of Texas, their national motto can be "Big hat, no cattle" and they can create all the minimum wage jobs they want and brag about it, too, to anyone willing to listen.

    July 27, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. A Kickin` Donkey

    Notice how "swagger" is spoken of as a GOOD THING for Mr. Perry?

    If Barack Obama exhibited "swagger" he`d be labelled arrogant. All you BUPPIES and enlightened other folks know what I`m talking about. We are so not a post racial society.

    Oh, and another thing. We`ve had our ONE former Texas, bravado-spewing Governor in the Oval Office. We can not stand another one picking fights all over the world with everybody.

    July 27, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. carlos

    seceed you idiot.......

    July 27, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Lindy

    This guy is as "Dangerous to America as "Norquist" Norquist is a national "Threat" You can just see the "Dishonesty" in Perrys Eyes???? He,s nothing but a "Bible Twister" Beware Americans!!!! Beware?

    July 27, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Steve/Oklahoma

    Not another Texas Govenor for President Please. We can't afford it.

    July 27, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Wes B.

    Bush III

    July 27, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. thomas

    Log Cabin GOPs for Perry !

    Queer&Steer 2012

    July 27, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |

    Will they explore his closet and out him. That would be the end of his run for President.

    July 27, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Robert

    The funny part is that CNN just released an article about who has the US debt, and, well, WE HAVE THE MAJORITY OF IT RIGHT HERE AT HOME!!! So, this article is just trying to use the fear that we'll be broke by then, and not actually using any sort of.... dare I say it... fact!

    July 27, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. MrManhattan

    Of course if Texas secedes, Perry becomes president, and America is rid of Texas. Talk about a win/win situation!

    July 27, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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