Watch your back, Mitt Romney. You, too, Michele Bachmann. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is about to do a two-step all over your presidential dreams. The governor’s spokesman Mark Miner confirmed to the Associated Press on Thursday that Perry will indeed announce this weekend his intention to enter the GOP nominating race.
Perry has for weeks been flirting with the idea of a presidential bid and came in second behind Mitt Romney in a national poll released this week. He could definitely shake up the Republican field, whose base doesn’t yet seem to be feeling the love.
Analysts are predicting that Romney has the most to lose. The economy grew in Texas, even during the recession, which is not a claim that Romney can make during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts. Perry heads the Republican Governors Association, a strong supporter of state rights, and may garner a good deal of support from the GOP’s evangelical wing that is giving Romney’s faith the side eye.
“Our view is the more the merrier,” Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom told the AP. “Mitt Romney got into the race because he felt that what was needed was someone with a long record of experience in the private sector.”
Perrry’s announcement is scheduled to take place as the current crop of Republican contenders vies to win Iowa’s Ames straw poll on Saturday. He will deliver a speech Saturday at a conservative conference in South Carolina and attend a house party in New Hampshire, two states that have early primaries, and then deliver a speech in Iowa on Sunday.
“I don’t think he’s going to have an ideological effect [on the GOP field]; they’re all pretty far to the right and there are no bona fide Republican moderates running in the contest. Part of this is about name recognition and who can generate the money and the enthusiasm, and I think Perry does pretty well on all three of those,” University of Michigan political scientist Vincent Hutchings told BET.com.
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