Texas Gov. Rick Perry says, "I'm gonna think about it," regarding a run for president in 2012, reports the Austin-American Statesman's Jason Embry. Perry has long denied he had any interest in a presidential campaign, but his circle has hinted at a run in recent days, following Mitch Daniels' decision to sit out the race.
Perry is a well-coifed outspoken conservative--he flirted with the idea of Texas seceeding from the Union in 2009. And he made his presidential musings known Friday at a signing ceremony for a law that requires a photo ID to vote--a pet issue of conservatives who are concerned about voter fraud. Mother Jones's Josh Harkison explains why the Tea Party likes him so much:
"Ever since his January inauguration speech, which sounded like a national political ad, the tea party's favorite rainmaker has been hinting at larger ambitions. There were the broadsides of Barack Obama. The lighthearted talk-show appearances...
Four short years after George W. Bush seemingly poisoned the Texas political well, Perry has emerged as a tea party hero by practicing a form of small-government fundamentalism that makes Bush look like a moderate. Facing a $27 billion budget shortfall, Perry pushed to eviscerate funding for the state's overburdened schools and social services instead of raising taxes or even tapping the state's $9.4 billion Rainy Day Fund. He has redefined fiscal conservatism to mean not spending crisis money at a time of crisis."
On the other hand, this week a poll found just 4 percent of Texans would support him if he ran for president.
Update: On the other hand: Perry's spokesman Mark Miner told National Journal's Kathy Kiely that, "Nothing has changed... The governor has no intention of running for president."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.