Perry's wife asks voters to 'really give him a second look'

By Tierney McAfee
June 04, 2015 11:25 AM
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty

Rick Perry announced on Thursday that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America.

“We don’t have to resign ourselves to debt and decay and slow growth,” the former Texas governor said when he announced his bid at a public event in Dallas.

“We have the power to make things new again … That is exactly why I am running for the presidency of the United States of America,” he declared to applause and chants of “Run, Rick, Run” from the crowd.

Perry was flanked by military veterans at the event, including retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, as well as Taya Kyle, the widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle.

“We’re at the end of an era of failed leadership,” he told the audience, promising that if elected, he would turn it all around. “We’re just a few good decisions away from unleashing economic growth and reviving the American dream.”

Earlier on Thursday, Perry took to his website to release a one-minute announcement video that highlights his Air Force experience and shows him cruising in a Texas Highway Patrol boat, chatting in a diner and riding a horse.

“If we’re going to revive this American dream again we need a president who provides leadership that transcends the petty partisanship we’ve seen in the last few years,” he tells voters in the clip. “Someone that’s been tested and a president who tells the American people the truth.”

Perry, 65, joins a long list of fellow Republican candidates that includes former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New York Gov. George Pataki and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Since finishing his 14-year run as governor of Texas in January, Perry has been touring the country promoting his accomplishments, The New York Times reports.

The former governor’s first bid for the presidency, in 2012, was rife with gaffes, one of the most memorable being when, in the middle of a debate, he forgot one of three federal agencies he would eliminate as president.

When pressed, he simply shrugged and said, “Oops,” earning himself, in some media and critics’ corners, the unfortunate nicknames Rick “Oops” Perry and Governor Oops.

Perry has since admitted that he’s “prone to make a lot of mistakes,” according to the Huffington Post, but he vows this campaign will be different.

And his wife, Anita, backs him up on that score, telling CNN on the eve of Thursday’s kickoff: “Rick is absolutely the guy that you want to have a beer with, but he’s so much more than that. He’s prepared now,” Anita said. “I want people to really give him a second look.”

Perry has said he’s spent the whole of the last two years preparing for this 2016 campaign. According to CNN, that prep has included briefings at Stanford University’s conservative Hoover Institution, in addition to weekly policy tutorials with experts on everything from foreign affairs to energy and economics.

“One of the errors that I made was in not being prepared,” he added of his 2012 presidential bid. “You know, I was a little arrogant and that had as much to do with my demise as a candidate.”