Rick Perry announces presidential run
By Jimmy Ardis
AUSTIN, Texas: After months of hints and speculation Rick Perry formally announced on Saturday that he is running for president. Perry made the highly anticipated announcement to a gathering of conservative bloggers in Charleston, South Carolina on the same day as the Iowa Straw Poll. While his name was not on the ballot, Perry placed sixth in the influential poll as a write-in candidate - beating former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney whose name was on the ballot. The timing of his announcement had the added campaign benefit of eclipsing Republican competitor Michelle Bachman's victory in Ames.
Perry wasted no time in going after Barack Obama, criticizing the President for his "failed western European social values" and for trying to "win the future by selling it off to foreign creditors." Perry went on to say that "We don't need a president who apologizes for America. We need a president who protects and projects those values."
Obama's campaign fired back in response to the Texas Governor's speech, labeling him as a status-quo Washington Republican whose economic policies harm the American middle class. An Obama campaign spokesman said "In a Republican field that has … failed to present any plan that will benefit the middle class or create the jobs America needs to win the future, Gov. Perry offers more of the same."
A strong Texas economy in the face of a prolonged national downturn is seen as a major strength for Perry. Placing blame on Obama for the America's recent credit downgrade, Perry said "This is just the most recent downgrade. The fact is that for nearly three years, President Obama has been downgrading American jobs, he's been downgrading our standing in the world, he's downgrading our financial stability, he's been downgrading confidence, and downgrading the hope for a better future for our children."
For now, focusing on a Perry-Obama throw down may be a little premature. Right now, the Texas Governor will have to focus on convincing Republicans and winning the coming primary.