UPDATE: Texas Governor Rick Perry will announce his candidacy for president of the United States on Saturday in South Carolina, according to reports from Fox News and CNN. Below, the original story that appeared in this post.
Texas Governor Rick Perry tells Time magazine in an interview published online on Thursday that there's no aspect of running for president that intimidates him and that he feels that mounting a campaign for the White House is what he's "supposed to be doing."
"I mean, this is starting to get to that comfort level and I’ve got the calmness in my heart," explained the Lone Star State Republican. "I think that was a bit of a hurdle initially but I’m very calm in my heart that this is what I’m supposed to be doing."
In recent months, speculation has swirled around the possibility Perry could vie for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. After previously insisting that his political focus remains on his work in his home state, the Texas governor now appears to be in it to win it in the next election cycle.
The AP reported earlier this week:
Perry's expected entrance into the Republican race looms large over Saturday's Iowa straw poll and a nationally televised debate two days earlier -- and he's not participating in either event. His all-but-certain bid comes as polls show the GOP electorate
underwhelmed with the current crop of candidates as they seek someone strong to challenge President Barack Obama next fall.
All candidates -- from GOP front-runner Mitt Romney on down — are bracing for a Perry candidacy.
Publicly, the field is welcoming Perry to the contest. Privately, the candidates and their advisers are discussing how to revamp their strategies for winning the nomination, given a likely new factor in the race -- a telegenic Texan who is credible on social conservatives' top issues and who hails from a state where jobs have grown.
HuffPost's Jon Ward reported earlier this week:
As Perry nears his decision point, [longtime political ally Dave] Carney gave some revealing insights into the psychology that would drive his candidacy. In past election cycles, Perry's advisers would be equipping him with answers to the top dozen or so potential attacks on him and his record as he prepared to jump into the fray.
Not this year. Carney said he believes this election is different. Voters, he said, are so anxious about the economy and angry about the nation's debt that little else matters to them.
In the primary, he said, conservatives have one overwhelming focus: getting rid of President Obama. They want someone who can "lay the wood" to the president most persuasively and dynamically.
As for how Perry arrived at his decision to run, Time asked the Texas governor if he has spoken with former President George W. Bush about the prospect of campaigning for the White House. The Republican hopeful said that he called Bush "early in this process."
"He said, 'You’ll do what’s right,'" recalled Perry of a conversation he said took place in July. "He said you don’t want to wake up when you’re 70 and go, 'I wish I had tried that. I wish I had done that.'"