With polls showing President Barack Obama beating any current 2012 Republican presidential hopeful, some party leaders are casting around for additional contenders, especially those who are well-known and might appeal more to the party’s most conservative wing.
One name that has come up repeatedly is Texas Governor Rick Perry, a conservative Republican and rising star in the Tea Party movement who fueled speculation last year that he might run for the White House by going on a national tour to publicize his book “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington,” which takes aim at what he sees an intrusive and expansive federal government.
Perry has in the past emphatically said he will not run, but he more recently has seemed to be leaving the door slightly open by saying for now he is focused on Texas’ legislative session, which ends on May 30.
“I have said multiple times I’m not going to get distracted from my work at hand and I’m not going to get distracted today,” he said on Tuesday when he was asked if he would run.
He also is known for saying in 2009 that Texas might secede from the United States, a remark that Democrats criticized as unpatriotic, but which has endeared him to many conservatives, particularly in southern states where many Republicans are particularly hostile to Washington.