Perry: I'm 'supposed to' run for president
August 11th, 2011
09:16 AM ET
11 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. Jack

    When the Federal Gov't gets out of the way and lets completely run themselves you have states who can't get it together to educate their children, you have local businesses calling the shots and letting companies pollute the water and air, you have religious fanatics putting up religious signs and symbols paid for by the taxpayers, you have restrictions in employment and discrimination against women and minorities. There is a place for the Federal Gov't. That's why our forefathers founded a Federal Gov't. They didn't let the states do whatever the heck they wished. E Pluribus Unum–remember?

    August 11, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. Tony

    Perry/Palin: the Tea Party dream ticket. If Al Qaeda had known that Republicans may nominate these two for president and vice president, they would not have bothered attacking the U.S. on 9/11. There is no need to commit murder when the intended victim is going to commit suicide.

    Even though George W. Bush was a C student in college, like Perry, at least Bush went to Yale.

    August 11, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. NOWAY

    "There's a lot of different scenarios. Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.... My hope is that America, and Washington in particular, will pay attention. We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that? But Texas is a very unique place, and a pretty independent lot to boot."-Rick Perry speaking on Texas secession in 2009

    August 11, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    Just what we need...another extremist Tea Party candidate. Voters need to be reminded it was the Tea Party hobbits who caused the credit downgrade.

    August 11, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Michael

    Right Governor lets leave everything to the states. I am sure Mississippi would have eventually gotten rid of jim crow laws and I'm sure south carolina would have eventually desegrated the schools and I'm sure Tennessee would have eventually passed fair housing laws. So lets leave it to the states and whatever poltical flavor happens to be in favor! Oops forgot about texas, the job creator, oh my bad I forgot the jobs you have created are poverty level that make the companies rich while the employees get poorer and poorer. What God tell you to do about that?

    August 11, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. Sniffit

    Yawn. Ideological intellectual lightweight with good hair and decent public speaking chops thinks he's chosen by gawd to save Amurika, land of the self-appointed chosen people. Story at 11.

    August 11, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. Romulus

    See the problem with either side is they want to rule over and CONTROL the people of the United States. The GOP want everyone to be Christian and warmongers, and those who aren't are the whack jobs and need to be silenced. The Dems want people to be socialists or communists, and those who don't believe this way are the ones who are silenced. I think it's time for a new party to emerge. I'm voting Independent, because I don't want to repeat the Bush years or the Obama years. They're both for policies that are against human rights in some way. If you don't have abortion you've got a raging war with a bunch of gung ho soldiers hyped up on adrenaline or steroids who think they're heros by killing innocent civillians. I choose neither.

    August 11, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. vosky

    Welcome aboard brother Perry. I am an evangelical, born-again Christian but I will vote for Barack Obama!

    August 11, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Tony Z

    So, he wants to do what Obama has been trying to do. What about succeeding from the US? We remember that.

    August 11, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. nintex

    After what he did to education in Texas, Perry should not be allowed to run for president. Can't these tea people see that education must be one of the top priorities on the list? He downgraded education in Texas and he would probably have the same disregard for its importance if he were president (shudder!!!!)

    August 11, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. LMR

    "...allowing the states to compete against each other..."???? That's a new one.

    August 11, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. Micheal

    This man is a lunatic. Will never vote for him

    August 11, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Clwyd

    I only hope that if he runs he will honor his words to have Texas secede from the union!

    August 11, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. SPA Knight

    He can count on my vote. He knows how to govern and has proven himself as a business friendly leader that is attracting companies to invest in his state. Oh yeah, he's a conservative which makes him even stronger at a time when our politicians are destroying our economy as well as morality.

    August 11, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Dave

    If you found George W. Bush too intelligent, then you'll love Rick Perry!

    Evangelical theocrats are going to destroy this country, voting in dullards based only on their religious fanaticism. They stuck us with Bush, and he screwed up so hard that a lot of his "time bombs of failure" are just coming into fruition. Obama's taking the blame for them. We're doomed if people are dumb enough to vote in Rick Perry. He's a D-student with no understanding of how anything works. I can't believe he's even being considered, but that's the current state of the GOP...

    August 11, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. kk

    Why do we want a second Bush? Because the first one hasn't screwed us enough? Why is the conservative answer to compromise to become even more radicalized?

    August 11, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. ART

    Oh crap he's taking advice from George W. ,He must really want to destroy our country.

    August 11, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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