Friday 28 October 2016

Rick Perry enters Republican race for US presidency

Raf Sanchez in Washington

Published 05/06/2015 | 02:30

Former Texas Governer Rick Perry speaks to supporters to announce the launch of his presidential campaign for the 2016 elections. Photo: AP
Former Texas Governer Rick Perry speaks to supporters to announce the launch of his presidential campaign for the 2016 elections. Photo: AP

Standing under the glaring lights of a presidential debate stage in 2011, Texas governor Rick Perry excruciatingly forgot which departments of government he would cut if he made it to the White House.

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"Oops," he said sheepishly.

The onstage brain freeze doomed his already-stuttering campaign but four years later Mr Perry is trying again.

The 65-year-old, who stepped down as governor of Texas in January, has announced that he is mounting a second run for the presidency.

He announced the campaign launch on his website, and had scheduled an event in Dallas for late last night.


He is entering a crowded field of Republicans and facing big names like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio but Mr Perry insists he is ready for the fight.

Mr Perry said that he had spent the last three years swotting up on domestic and foreign policy, aided by a stylish new set of glasses.

He also said he was physically in much better shape than in 2011 when he had recently undergone serious back surgery.

His flummoxed debate performance was blamed partly on the strong pain killers he was taking at the time.

Mr Perry is presenting himself as a national security hawk who presided over serious economic growth during his 14 years as governor of Texas.

He took over the post in 2000 after George W Bush was elevated from the Texas governor's mansion to the White House.

While Mr Perry has governed as a traditional conservative, he has also spoken out in favour of prison reform and ending America's policy of mass incarceration.

He has a long way to go, however, before he can be considered a real challenger.

Mr Perry languishes at the back of the Republican field, with the RealClearPolitics polling average showing him with just 2.3pc support among likely voters in the Republican nomination fight which begins in earnest with an opening televised debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 6.


Although Mr Perry is a distant outsider for the nomination, he was a well-fancied candidate in the early running for the 2012 nomination fight, and experts contend that the Republican field remains sufficiently crowded for a potential upset candidate to still emerge.

The early polling for the nomination is currently being led by three front runners - Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, Marco Rubio, the young Florida senator, and Scott Walker, the union-bashing governor of Wisconsin - who are all polling at between 12pc and 13pc. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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