It’s official: Rick Perry is running for President
August 13th, 2011
02:36 PM ET
11 years ago

It’s official: Rick Perry is running for President


Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) - Vowing to bring his own brand of Lone Star conservatism to Washington, Texas Governor Rick Perry declared his candidacy for president in a raucous speech in South Carolina Saturday.

“It is time to get America working again,” Perry said in the speech, previewing his campaign’s focus on the economy.

In reference to the recent downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, Perry jabbed the president.

“In reality this is the most recent downgrade,” Perry said. “The fact is for nearly three years, President Obama has been downgrading American jobs, downgrading American standing in the world, downgrading our financial stability, downgrading confidence, and downgrading the hope for a better future for our children.”

Perry’s address at the Red State Gathering, a conference for conservative activists in Charleston, ended months of speculation about his presidential ambitions.

The longest-serving governor in Texas history also dished out red meat to conservatives with promises to reduce the size of the federal government and to end the president’s national health care law.

"I'll work every day to make Washington, DC as inconsequential in your life as I can," Perry said.

The Texas governor agreed to speak at the event months ago when he said he was not considering a campaign.

But in the last two months, Perry told reporters he was beginning to feel “called” to run for the White House.

With the rest of the Republican field vying for votes at the Ames straw poll in Iowa, Perry and his strategists determined an announcement at the Red State event would steal some of the political spotlight.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, another rising conservative in the Republican Party, praised the maneuver after her remarks at the conference.

“I think it's entirely brilliant. I think to turn around and do this the same day that you've got an Ames Iowa poll really just lets us know that it's game-on time for all the candidates and I love that,“ Haley told reporters at the conference.

Democratic activists protested Perry’s speech outside the event. Dressed as confederate Civil War soldiers, the demonstrators mocked Perry’s comments in 2009 when he suggested at a tea party rally he would consider seceding from the United States.

Perry’s aides have repeatedly claimed the governor was only kidding when he made the remarks.

But the GOP contender appeared to address criticism of those comments in his speech.

“First and foremost I’m an incredibly proud American. America is not broken. Washington, DC is broken,” Perry said.

The Texas governor is widely viewed as a potential political threat to GOP front-runner Mitt Romney. A recent CNN/ORC poll showed Perry just two points behind Romney among Republican voters in the battle for their party’s presidential nomination.

Perry’s speech received a warm and sometimes rowdy response from the packed audience of conservatives.

Robert Sklaroff, a doctor from Philadelphia, drove to South Carolina just to hear Perry’s speech.

“This is the speech conservatives have been waiting for,” Sklaroff said.

“He’s a conservative, a fiscal conservative. And that’s what’s needed to get the country back on track,” another audience member, Caroline Durand, said.

If he makes it to the White House, Perry would become the second GOP Texas governor in a row to do so.

But there was no mention of his predecessor in Austin, George W. Bush, in Perry’s speech.

Filed under: 2012 • Nikki Haley • Rick Perry • South Carolina
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Annie, Atlanta

    Oh dear, at least George Bush was intelligent. Here comes the domionist party. Yeah us. Or is that US.

    August 13, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Palin Power

    Perry will NEVER be President. Sarah Palin will PWN him along with the rest of the GOP competition. She will be our next and greatest President.

    August 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. B

    It is like watching his twin Dubwa all over again..... God help us all!

    We never seem to learn from our past.

    August 13, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. diridi

    This idiot will be never be the president....o.k, America is not ready for another Bush, the idiot...

    August 13, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Just As I Thought

    Liberals, encouraged by their Empty Suit" Leader, Obambi, will slander, lie, attack, & send unrelenting barbs at Rick Perry in an attempt to keep their "Failed Change & Hope" from sinking likebthebTitantic.........but their attempts will come up empty & wanting! 2012 will be a vote from our great nation AGAINST Big Government, Socialism, Anti-God, Uncontrolable Debt, Government Mandated Health-Care, & the Sanction of will be a vote against Barack Hussein Obambi!
    As for the Taker generation, some Good Advice:
    1. Get out of bed, locate & purchase a local Newspaper ( no, you cannot use food stamps for this purchase)
    2. Open paper to Section titled "JOBS" (realizing most have never seen this section)
    3. Find a job which is available ( Community Organizers are not needed)
    4. Go make application, worknhard, be respectful of your boss, & save part of your earnings,
    5. Get up & go to WORK!
    6. Find a God Honoring Church & attend services.

    August 13, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Kevin

    Great, just what we need, a dumber more radicalized version of G.W. This really makes me feel safe about the future of our great nation.

    August 13, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. My Name is Gregg and I`m Running For President

    What does Perry know about Foriegn policy? Nothing. What would he do overseas? We don`t need another swaggering, "Mission Accomplished" cowboy in the Oval Office.

    If I were president, effective 1/1/12, the US would completely withdraw from Afghanistan. In this fuedal country with a poor weak central government, the US should, in exchange for our aid, Take/Demand a 7 year lease on strategic high ground where we can launch predator drones, fighter escorts and C-17 resupply planes. This base will contain a small 5,000 Marine fighting force to defend it from the Taliban and to hunt down remaining terrorists when needed.

    Effective immediately all US forces would be withdrawn from Iraq. If the Iraqi government petitions for the USA military to stay and pays all expenses, we will do so for an additional 3 years.

    Savings = BiLLIONS per month.

    American Troops home & lives no longer at risk.

    Eddecfive immediately US trrops in Germany, Italy, Spain & Britain are recalled to the US. For those European governments that petion the US military to stay and are willing to pay expenses; deployments will be extended until 2014.

    My name is Gregg and I`m running for President.

    What`s your plan Mr. Perry?

    August 13, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. Tubby the Tuba TEXAS

    Why not announce in TEXAS? Some loyalty!! Left TEXAS broke with a 27 Billion Dollar deficit, and massive teacher layoffs to make up for the lost monies!! Now we will see 30 to 40 kids in a classroom now. And with the money he saved by laying off teachers, he has put it to work for him and his entourage to run for this Presidency thing. If you can vote for this guy, I've got some land in Louisanna I love to sell you!

    August 13, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Nellie Bly

    Great. Here come the jobs – at McDonald's or Wal-Mart, your choice.

    August 13, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    A successionist in South Carolina... Go figure....

    August 13, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Louise Bland

    Rick Perry, is bragging about nothing. We're over 50% Mexicans here in Texas. The minority are the white people. The Mexicans are all living with families together or getting welfare, and working as lawn people. We have over 50 people working here in Preston Square in North Dallas. Perry lies about how well Texas is doing. We don't like him at all. I can't imagine him beating Kay Baily Hudchinson. But remember only 41% of people voted in Texas last time.

    August 13, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. cag917

    Great. Another dumb Texas gov.

    August 13, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Louise Bland

    Rick Perry, cannot beat Obama. People will turn out and vote in Texas. They've been shy of voting here. 41% usually gets to the polls. This election people will turn out. I'll be out there working myself and to make sure people are registered and going to the polls. You bet!

    August 13, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. inggy

    He is a part of the bilderburg group and is the last person you want in office. He will be there puppet and do no good for the american public. There group is a club of the most powerful and richest people in the world. There goal is a one world govenment and strict population control. They will take what little freedom we have left.

    August 13, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Atlanta Independent

    Another Bush running for president

    August 13, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. dom youngross

    I like the other Texan, Ron Paul, a whole lot better for president.

    August 13, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Jerry

    God, why can this excuse of a woman (Whatsherman) ever keep her ugly trap shut. My fellow voters voters in Florida should be embarrassed for electing a lap dog and a butt kisser for President NObama. Seventeen months creating jobs!? When? Where? The jobs the NObama administration created, according to Whatsherman , must be in foreign countries. President NObama and his administration must be really desperate. So much so that they are going to "Kill Romney", and now, I guess they are going to put Perry in the crosshairs, too!

    Why don't my fellow Democrats stop their lying and exaggerations to the American people? We already know the truth!

    America, remember 2012!

    August 13, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. wade

    So the most successful GOV. in America against the worst president in American history. America would have to be completely insane to ever vote for Obama again.

    August 13, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Mark Anthony

    I think the sentiment of ceding from a government that has been turning on it own people is a common thought born out of the desperate condition progressive/communist ideals and practice have brought about. The progressives have made a commodity out of america's productivity or lack of it for the sole purpose of supporting their politics. Its time for America to be America and make its politics subservient to the people. Each of us need only be brave enough, to say enough, if they can't turn it around, we will find someone who can.

    August 13, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Miss Stef

    Can someone please explain to me the big problem with universal healthcare? Get cancer + treatment = you get to keep your house. It's a no brainer. Wake up people south of the border!! Socialism is not communism and if you haven't noticed, the socialist countries are doing much better than yours!

    August 13, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. jeff

    God won't create jobs.Texas is not like the 49 other states, he doesn't have a clue what real america is like

    August 13, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Jean

    Didn't the US already try Lone Star conservatism? And didn't it fail miserably?

    As far as Obama downgrading the economy goes, no: the recession did that. No one could have governed as if there was no recession. Obama, with the help of Democrats and Republicans, all of whom contributed to the stimulus package (which included a lot of tax breaks)j kept the economy's nose above water.

    August 13, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. The Unsub

    Is that it? I expected more from the Texan!

    August 13, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. dixon

    I don't think Perry will be a better President than Obama if the Democrats still control the Senate and decide to be a party of 'No'.As the Governor of Texas he has never faced real opposition from the State Congress that is controlled by Republicans. It is not going to be the same at the national level where Democrats may control one chamber of the House.

    August 13, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |