Perry: I'm 'supposed to' run for president
August 11th, 2011
09:16 AM ET
3 years ago

Perry: I'm 'supposed to' run for president

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry has decided he wants to be president and received advice from former President George W. Bush before reaching his conclusion, according to a new interview with TIME's Mark Halperin.

The longest-serving Lone Star governor, who has not officially announced a bid for the White House, said he would not be "this far into the process," unless he wanted to run for president in 2012.

"I mean, you and I having this conversation has answered that question," Perry told Halperin.

He said a discussion with his wife led to his final decision. According to Perry, she said "our country is in trouble, and you need to do your duty."

"A person that I greatly love who I've been either dating or married to for I think 45 years now, made me realize that I couldn't sit on the sidelines if my country's future truly is at stake," Perry said. "I'm very calm in my heart that this is what I'm supposed to be doing."

Perry will deliver a speech this weekend at a major conservative gathering in South Carolina, where he is expected to make his presidential intentions clear, his staff has said. He will then travel to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire and the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa.

A new CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday showed 15 percent of Republican and independent voters who lean toward the GOP picked Perry as their choice for the Republican nomination. Perry was just two points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, considered the frontrunner in the nominating process. Romney's two point advantage over Perry is within the survey's sampling error.

The Texas-native who served as Bush's lieutenant governor, said he spoke to the 43rd president in early July to wish him a happy birthday.

With regards to his potential bid, Perry recalled Bush saying, "'You'll do what's right.' He said you don't want to wake up when you're 70 and go, 'I wish I had tried that. I wish I had done that.'"

Despite his support for the more socially moderate New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the 2008 presidential race, Perry said he would be the most conservative candidate in the race. But the economy, he said, would be issue No. 1.

"So, what's the most important thing that's facing this country? It's getting this economy back. I am a pro-business governor. I will be a pro-business president if this does, in fact, ensue and I'm blessed to be elected president of the United States," Perry said.

And he has boiled his economic plan down to four points: reduce spending, institute a tax structure "that's fair, and as log as you can have it, and still deliver services that the people require," establish a regulatory climate that is "fair, predictable," and have a legal system that doesn't allow for "over-suing."

"Stepping back and getting out of the way at the federal level is about allowing the states to compete against each other, the idea that Washington knows best how to educate our children, or knows best how to deliver health care to our citizens, or for that matter knows best how to clean up the air," Perry said.

When asked if any aspect of running for president intimidates him, Perry responded "No."


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Advice from George W. Bush? Now that's a comforting thought!

    August 11, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  2. Peter E

    Let's see... Texas still ranks in the bottom 5 states in education, health care for children, while near the top in number of people living in poverty, also number of people incarcerated, which apparently is hardly a deterrent, and apparently neither is their universal gun ownership, since they have high crime rates as well.
    Yes, I am sure I would want to vote for a governor who would turn the rest of America into Texas...
    Hm... didn't we try that once, like not long ago? How did that turn out? Oh right, total success...

    August 11, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. Texas Doc

    Typical Republican thinking: Any idiot could do it (just look at who Gov. Perry gets his advice from). This is why we are in trouble. It is the idiots in the GOP who don't take governing/lawmaking seriously and just want to take care of their real constituents: Banks, Wall Street, Oil Companies, etc. They could care less about the United States or the well being of the American people. It is treasonous and needs to stop. Their contempt for the people and this great nation must stop.

    August 11, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Hey Perry! I know you're trying to run on your 'job creating' record, but once you're president you won't have an even higher federal level to give you billions upon billions of dollars to bail you out like it did in the past few years!
    (all these republican governors are hypocrites! They criticize the federal government, and yet ALL of them picked up the billions of dollars in federal stimulus to boost their own job creation numbers)

    August 11, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. Claire

    Oh, Lord help us. I'm a 57 year old native born Texan and I haven't gotten over the embarrasment of the last Texan president we had.....please don't put this on us again. Perry will do nothing but disseminate the school systems all over the country (worse than they already are), strip our medicare and SS and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    August 11, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  6. Canuck

    Well, he's made himself clear about his views on same-sex marriage and has demonstrated that he has as much hatred and intolerance as his opponents for the GOP nomination. Just the sort of fellow you'd want running your country, right??

    August 11, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. John

    The Man A Trader ,who should be but It Jail for treason. He wanted Texas to Secede from the Union. The man trying to start the Civil war up all over again. This would be the last Person I would vote for. he rate right up there with Saran Palin and Michele Bachmann.

    August 11, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Tony

    No matter how bad things get for Obama, he can thank God that he may get to run against a secessionist who once begged the federal government for disaster aid.

    August 11, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Gov. Perry does not win polls in his own home state. If Texans prefer other choices, shouldn't the rest of the country respect their opinion? Perry has so many flaws that it is a waste of time to list them.

    But, I will cite one of my favorites. Like the rest of the field, Perry is in favor of "smaller government." Perry made loud noises this past spring concerning Texas wild fires, and how the Obama administration was denying his state federal assistance. All the while, the federal government was paying 75% of the costs of combating the fires. Perry simply wanted FEMA, which he wants to cut, to pick up the entire cost. That is deception on a grand scale.

    August 11, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. roscoe

    I think step one after he's elected is to have all the states secede from the union. That certainly will cut the budget.

    August 11, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. NYC REPUB

    This guy will clobber Romney....but losee to Obama.
    Obama 2012!!!!!

    August 11, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. Jay Stickley

    I know for sure that texas doesn't know how to educate it's children. With so many GOP candidates claiming they are called to run for president i wonder which are either being lied to by God or are lying about being called. gonna be fun watching this campaign

    August 11, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. julibear

    God help us all. Anyone remember the last President from Texas? I tried to warn you then. Please heed me now!

    August 11, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. From MI

    Finnally! this make me happy.

    August 11, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. FM

    So Perry talked with Bush 43! Ah! this does not ring well in the ears of many. I wish he could not have mentioned it. It is very scary he might pull us back to those times of Bush era, if at all he is elected!

    August 11, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    "So, what's the most important thing that's facing this country? It's getting this economy back. I am a pro-business governor. I will be a pro-business president if this does, in fact, ensue and I'm blessed to be elected president of the United States," Perry said.
    -------------
    His state faces a $27 billion dollar budget short fall. The short fall probably has something to do with the fact Texas has the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs. By running for President, he is basically cutting and running from a financial crisis the was created on his watch, and does not want to take responsibility for fixing it and possibly failing to do so.

    Perry would rather leave that chore to the Democrat who is likely to succeed him as governer. And when the Democrat takes office, Republicans will make noise about over spending, annual deficits, and blame the middle class workers and the sitting Governer. Sound familiar?

    August 11, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. Dale

    Well, I don't think most Americans want a theocracy, so no thank you Mr. Parry.

    August 11, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. Biggge

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry has decided he wants to be president and received advice from former President George W. Bush ... He lost me right there.....I live in Austin Tx, this guy is a crook.. Ask him how long has he lived in Westlake Hills instead of the Capital on tax payers dollar...Turn down Education money and then fired teachers, lied about the budget during the election and what kind of Gov. gets re-elected and never debated his opponent.. Only in Texas... Ask anyone from Texas, Dem or Rep....they will tell you the same....

    August 11, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. doug

    Rick Perry is really not my cup of tea but with the Democrat establishment through their puppets like Colbert attacking him, then he deserves a second look.

    I realize that I will always be at odds with the Republican candidate on gay marriage, abortion, and decriminalizing drug abuse, as it is a victimless crime, but I will vote straight ticket Republican till I die. As they are the only party that can defeat the evil, selfish, dishonest, never take resonsibility for your actions Democrats, like every other decent American I have a moral obligation to vote Republican.

    August 11, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. Cosmo

    "I'm very calm in my heart that this is what I'm supposed to be doing."

    I'm glad that he stopped just short of saying that in his personal relationship with God, God told him he should run. Its 2011 folks, how can a person like this be given even the least bit of credence as a viable candidate for national office? Just another great argument for raising the bar in education.

    August 11, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. Cento

    Well on the bright side, if Perry runs for president, he will finally relieve Texans of his failed and insane state policies. Although unfortunately he will now become America's problem, hopefully the majority of Americans are more informed than the average rural Texan whom tune into Rush Limbaugh and Fox News on a daily basis....

    August 11, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  22. Mr. Moderate

    "over-suing" oh great another Palin and he is bragging about being the most conservative among this band of crazies.

    Of this small government probusiness conservative will probably avoid discussing why goverment jobs have grown twice as fast as private sector jobs during his tenure.

    August 11, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. Emerson

    "Stepping back and getting out of the way at the federal level is about allowing the states to compete against each other"

    Ricky, the last time the states competed against each other we had a civil war that cost 660,000 lives. Please hire some advisors with some brains.

    August 11, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. Sandra

    In other words, Mr. Perry thinks we need to go back in time. Let's keep people ignorant by cutting support for education, that way they won't know corporations are actually running their country. We won't realize that we pay too much for health care or that their food is making us sick because federal regulations are no longer needed. Let's put all the burdeon back on the already over spent states. Eight years of tax breaks, deregulation, and trickle down got us to this point. Unforturnately, it will take a while to dig ourselves out, but we will get there only if we avoid electing people like Mr. Perry.

    August 11, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. Indy

    Romney has been campaigning for fives years and Perry will be the front runner the day he announces and Romney will be left in the dust and thats the good news, bad news is no Texas Governor is going to be elected POTUS anytime soon, Bush has made sure that wont happen.

    August 11, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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