Huffpost Politics

John Cornyn On Potential Rick Perry 2012 Campaign: 'The Field Is Already Pretty Full'

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Texas Governor Rick Perry has not yet declared whether he will enter the race for the Republican nomination for president, but some Lone Star State Republicans seem less than enthusiastic about the possibility he'll run for the White House in 2012.

"The field is already pretty full," U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday when asked about Perry's chances, the Houston Chronicle reports. "There have been a lot of people working at it for a number of years.”

Cornyn touted the economic success of Texas, attributing it to Republican ideals of lower taxes, fewer regulations and anti-union right to work laws, but said that formula didn't start with Perry even though he helped to "execute it."

"As for his decision on whether to join the race or not, I’ll leave that obviously up to him,” Cornyn added. “We’ll anticipate his decision here pretty soon, I guess.”

Perhaps for different reasons, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) reacted coolly to the idea of his fellow Texas Republican joining him in the race for president during an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday. Perry had been on the program just one day earlier.

"He doesn't indentify with the people who are disenchanted with the status quo," Paul said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "He's identified with the previous administration, and very much the status quo."

The libertarian congressman, who made an unsuccessful bid for president in 2008, is trailing Perry by a razor-thin margin, according to the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll.

"He's going to dilute the vote. But he'll dilute the establishment vote," Paul said on Fox. "But the people who are sick and tired of what they're getting in Washington, I don't think he's going to be that attractive to that group of people."

Two Republicans from the same state are already competing against one another for the Republican presidential nomination with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty in the GOP primary mix.

The Dallas Morning News reported this week that the legacy of George W. Bush has emerged a topic for discussion in larger debate over the possibility Perry could run in the next a election cycle. And, it seems that some Republicas are skeptical of seeing another Texas candidate vie for the White House.

Former presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and, decades earlier, Lyndon Johnson maintained strong ties to Texas. Dwight Eisenhower was born there.

"Jimmy Carter overcame the Southern thing. Reagan was an actor and an airhead," Tucker Eskew, a former Bush adviser, told the Dallas Morning News. "Pundits put forth these theories and candidates -- the best of them -- overcome them."

However, some Republicans within Texas seem wary that Perry could secure a portion of the GOP vote that otherwise would potentially go to a candidate like Bachmann, or former Alaska governor Sarah Palin should she run.

Texas GOP State Sen. Dan Patrick, who is considering making a run for the U.S. Senate, questioned whether there was room for candidates who appear to be cut from the same cloth.

"If too many conservatives get in, they will divide the grassroots base and allow someone else to get the nomination," Patrick told Beth Reinhard at the Atlantic.

Perry has already been boosted in political ads in New Hampshire put out by Americans for Job Security, a group founded by one of the aides who jumped ship from Newt Gingrich's campaign last week. The aide, strategist Dave Carney, worked for the elder Bush's White House administration and for Bob Dole in 1996.

Carney's group began touting Perry's effort on tort reform in an ad released in Texas. Perry denies having known about the spot prior to its release. Carney contends the ad encourages similar efforts in other states.

Carney was seen at Perry's side during a recent speech the Republican governor delivered in New York. At the speaking engagement he suggested the odds of Perry running in 2012 are "50-50 at best."

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