Rick Perry May Declare Presidential Bid in Saturday Speech

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 8, 2011   |   3:20PM   |   Washington, DC

Rick Perry, the pro-life Texas governor, is expected to use a speech on Saturday to declare he will officially announce a presidential bid for the Republican nomination.

The speech, coming at the Red State gathering of conservative political activists, will, according to a Politico report, have the three-term governor announce that he will formally launch a bid for the nomination soon. The news is already generating significant buzz within Republican circles and political observers say Perry’s decision to announce he will announce will take some of the luster away from the Ames straw poll in Iowa happening earlier in the day.

Perry, who has been the source of significant speculation about his plans for joining the crowded Republican presidential field, stood to lose the attention of the media as he will not participate in a previously-scheduled debate on Thursday night with other Republican hopefuls. He will also not be on the ballot in Iowa on Saturday as voters in the first battleground state give an indication of which candidates they prefer up to this point.

Politico says two sources close to Perry confirmed the speech and indicated he will follow up the declaration of his intention to run for president with a meeting with political activists in New Hampshire, the location of the second presidential battleground for Republicans. Perry will join a house party at the home of a state representative who has been active in encouraging Perry to run.

Perry will also meet with a small group of prominent businessmen, whose support he will need to raise the funds necessary to compete with top Republicans like Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty as well as former Governor Mitt Romney, seen as the leader of the Republican field so far and who has amassed millions to support his campaign.

Pawlenty and Bachmann are racing for national attention by winning or placing well in the straw poll and Perry’s announcement may hurt either or both of them, depending on the results. They could also be hurt if a write-in campaign is able to generate enough votes for Perry to affect the results.

Perry is a pro-life advocate who recently clarified his views on abortion by saying he supports a federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would afford legal protection for women and unborn children. He also supports allowing states to prohibit abortions and overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that ushered in an era of 53 million abortions.

Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger says the Texas governor and potential Republican presidential candidate backs a federal amendment.

“Gov. Perry is proudly pro-life and successfully championed strong pro-life legislation in Texas including parental consent, this year’s sonogram bill and a budget that significantly defunds abortions in Texas,” she said. “The governor has long supported overturning Roe v. Wade, and would support amending the U.S. Constitution, with the backing of Congress and the states, to protect innocent life.”

Recently, LifeNews.com profiled Perry in an article featuring comments from two statewide pro-life groups, Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life, verifying Perry’s pro-life credentials and discussing the lengthy list of pro-life actions he’s taken as governor. Representatives of both groups expressed confidence in Perry advocating a pro-life agenda should he decide to run for president and be nominated by Republicans to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

“Governor Rick Perry has always championed the pro-life cause, tirelessly advocating for the sanctity of innocent human life in numerous ways,” Texas Right to Life executive director Elizabeth Graham tells LifeNews.com.

“Governor Perry has worked alongside Texas Right to Life, helping shepherd our pro-life bills and eagerly supporting our measures,” Graham said. “As governor of Texas, he has intervened to stop anti-life legislation on a number of occasions, and he has helped clear obstacles when necessary.”

“Every one of Governor Perry’s judicial appointees adheres to a strict constructionist style of jurisprudence; neither do they find a right to privacy in the penumbra of the Constitution, nor do they legislate from the bench,” Graham assures. “Governor Perry’s appointments have created the largest, most conservative judicial body in America.”

Joe Pojman, the head of Texas Alliance for Life, has also worked closely with the governor and confirms to LifeNews that “Perry has always been pro-life throughout his time as an elected official.”

“For many years, Perry has supported the fund raising efforts of pro-life organizations, including Texas Alliance for Life, and he has appeared several times at the Texas Rally for Life held at the state Capitol to commemorate the tragic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision,” Pojman added.”We believe Perry has the right stuff to be president. If elected, he will aggressively defend innocent human life as he has as governor of Texas.”