Texas Governor Rick Perry Considers a 2012 Presidential Campaign
Perry recently told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that although he is tempted to run "it is not something that [he] wants to do." A spokesperson for Perry additionally told Fox News, "The governor has had no intention of running"and that Perry is focusing all his attention on the current legislative session. These conflicting comments from Perry and media speculation over the past few weeks have kept political junkies on their toes.
As the longest-serving governor in U.S. history, Perry had a 65 percent job performance approval rating as of January 2011. However, even a high approval figure does not transfer to presidential candidate support. According to the poll, Perry only had the support of 9 percent of those polled if he were to run for president in 2012. However, that number could increase in the next few weeks now that candidates like Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels have bowed out of the 2012 race.
Perry has both positively and negatively impacted Texans in the past decade. Texas remains the nation's top state for job seekers with an unemployment rate that has remained steadily below the national average. Unemployed Americans have been making the move to the Lone Star State over the past few years to find work and are successfully doing so. California lawmakers even visited the Texas capital of Austin in early April searching for solutions to their state's rising unemployment rates. Texas now has more Fortune 500 companies than any other state and was named one of five states that will lead the US out of the recession by CNBC in 2009. According to Perry's official website, the Texas economy is performing well in the current global economic crisis, thanks to a focused effort to keep taxes low, regulations predictable and the legal system fair.
"Despite a late entry and a lack of organization, he would probably be an instant top-tier candidate if he jumped in, a force in early states like Iowa and South Carolina, and he would have a pretty good talking point in the booming Texas economy," the New York Times' Matt Bai wrote. "This is not Fred Thompson."
"If you think about it analytically, Rick Perry is now almost the perfect candidate to enter the GOP field for president. Just look at his credentials from the stand point of experience, attractiveness and political philosophy," wrote contributing editor, Rudy Cajka, in a post on the blog Real Clear Conservatives.
While Perry's political stance, which includes the opposition of same sex marriage and support of the death penalty, may be appealing to conservative Texans those on the other end of the political spectrum are not pleased with the idea of a potential presidential campaign.
"I hope it doesn't happen. [Perry] has got a long history of twisting things around...he's passed amendments that tamper with the way Texas handles its budget, effectively allowing him to operate with a deficit, which is totally against conservative economic ideals," said Brandon Rittger, a University of Texas Alum.
"[Perry] is not out for the people, he is out for himself and what makes him look good. He promised Texas teachers a raise in 2006 and we never saw it," said retired teacher Betty Cuellar.
Rittger and Cuellar represent most democrats and working class Texans in the Rick Perry for President debate. The Texas Democratic Party website released an article in 2009 naming Rick Perry's top 10 failures. This list includes the rise of Texas health insurance premiums by 91.6 percent from 2000 to 2009 and his support of a tuition deregulation scheme that drastically increased college tuition costs. A facebook page titled "Texans against Perry" created last Friday already has more than 2,000 likes, over a dozen wall posts and a laundry list of scandals Perry was involved in.
While Perry may have a surprising amount of angry Texans against him, the Texas Republicans who have kept him in office for the past 11 years continually support his decisions and many are behind his potential run for the GOP presidential nomination.
Whether Perry decides to take part in the race or not could become clear in as little as the next few days. With the ever-thinning field of potential GOP presidential candidates, a 'Perry for President' campaign may be just around the corner.
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