Texas governor Rick Perry enters presidential race

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Perry in 2011.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Texas Governor Rick Perry officially announced Saturday that he is running for President of the United States as a Republican. In a speech before the RedState convention in South Carolina, Perry said "It is time to get America working again. That's why with the support of my family and an unwavering belief in the goodness of America, I declare to you today my candidacy for president of the United States."

The announcement, which coincides with the nonbinding Ames Straw Poll in Iowa, follows months of media speculation and reports from earlier in the week that Perry planned to enter the race Saturday. Other candidates include former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, businessman Herman Cain of Georgia and Representative Ron Paul of Texas. Early polls place Perry in second place, just behind Romney, who analysts consider a "weak" frontrunner for the nomination.

Perry, 61, has served as Governor of Texas since late 2000 when former President George W. Bush stepped down following his election as president. Two years later, Perry was elected governor in his own right, and was re-elected twice in 2006, and in 2010 following a primary battle with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. He has never lost a political election.

Perry is expected to run as an outsider to Washington politics, though, he is likely to be compared to former President George W. Bush, who served as governor of Texas before becoming president. However, in recent years, Perry has been increasingly critical of the spending policies under Bush, and relations between their aides have been strained.

Nonetheless, Perry has reserved most of his political criticism for President Barack Obama. In allusion to Obama, Perry commented Saturday that "Page one of any economic plan to get American working is to give a pink slip to the current residents in the White House."

As president, Perry states that he would reverse Obamacare, simplify the tax system, and cut government spending.