As the race for the Republican presidential nomination continues to evolve, signs are emerging that Texas Governor Rick Perry may be set to enter the primary mix.
Sources in the Lone Star State tell The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis that steps are being taken to prepare for a prospective Perry 2012 campaign. According to CBS News, Perry is "serious" about making a run for the White House in the next election cycle.
Last month, Perry signaled interest in pursuing a presidential campaign after previously denying he had any intention of entering the GOP primary race. Just hours after he suggested he was taking the matter under consideration, however, a spokesman for the Texas governor told National Journal, "Nothing has changed ... The governor has no intention of running for president."
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday:
But over the past two weeks, political advisers and friends say, Mr. Perry has changed his tune on a possible presidential campaign. In private conversations, they say, the three-term governor said he worries that the current GOP contenders have yet to stir real excitement within the party and may struggle when facing President Barack Obama.
"He thinks there is a void [in the current field of candidates], and that he might be uniquely positioned to fill that void," said one Perry confidant who talked to the governor last week.
Several top aides who jumped ship from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's presidential operation in a mass staff exodus on Thursday maintain close ties to Perry. The Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports:
Rick Tyler, Gingrich's spokesman, said that he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had all quit, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Johnson and consultant Dave Carney, who also resigned, previously had similar roles with Perry.
Perry's spokesman, Mark Miner, said the turnover in Gingrich's campaign doesn't signal a shift in Perry's position, which is that he's still thinking about a run for president.
According to Miner, "nothing's changed" with Perry's outlook for the next election cycle. "He remains focused on the legislative session," he said.
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