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In Addison, Perry Announces He's Running For President

Bob Daemmrich
Texas Tribune
In Addison Thursday morning, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he's running for president.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced this morning in Addison that he's running for president again. 

For Perry, it's a re-do of a 2012 bid that went poorly as he tumbled from flavor-of-the-month front-runner after a series of gaffes.


Perry told supporters at the Addison Airport: "We have the power" to project American strength and grow the economy.

He went on: "That is exactly why today I am running for the presidency."

His entry brings to 11 the number of major candidates vying for the GOP prize so far.

He spoke in the company of veterans and a hulking cargo plane like one he flew in the Air Force. He's one of the few veterans in the 2016 campaign.

Perry starts in a more distant position than before.

The Texas Tribune has more details on what Perry told the crowd: 

"It's time," Perry said to a few hundred flag-waving supporters. "It's time to create real jobs; to raise wages; to create opportunity for all; to give every citizen a stake in this country; to restore hope — real hope to forgotten Americans." He made the declaration while standing in front of a white cargo plane with a "Perry for President" logo inside a hot hangar at North Texas' Addison Airport. The event had the feel of a Fourth of July picnic, with a floor-to-ceiling American flag, white fold-up chairs, and red, white and blue decorations everywhere. By the end, Perry and others on the stage appeared to be sweating heavily.  The military was a key focus. Perry was surrounded by Navy SEALs and other famous veterans. And he talked about his own military service, the service of his father and his trip to the American cemetery at the site of the D-Day attack in Normandy, France. The plane serving as his backdrop Thursday was a C-130, the same type he flew in missions in Europe and the Middle East while a captain in the U.S. Air Force. "I was proud to wear the uniform of my country," Perry said. 

Watch Perry's speech

Watch a Texas Tribune video report about Perry's speech

Watch a Perry campaign video

Here's Perry's campaign website.

Perry on Twitter

Second time's the charm?

Perry ran for president in 2012 -- that didn't go so well. The Texas Tribune reports Perry has a thin margin for error: 

All the work he has done to atone for his disastrous 2012 bid will finally be put to the test, and the margin for error could not be thinner. He is ready, and he wants you know it. He has spent hours quizzing policy wonks, logged thousands of miles in the early-voting states and assembled a staff that wants to put him in the White House, not just spearhead the Rick Perry Reputation Recovery Project.  Perry, a master of political fortune, will need all the luck he can get, faced with no shortage of disadvantages out of the gate. Single-digit poll numbers that cast doubt on whether he will even make the cut for the first primary debate in August. An abuse-of-power indictment without a clear end in sight. And a home state whose Republican establishment has far more options than it did for 2012. 

The Texas Tribune explores Perry's legacy with a look at several things "we won't forget about Texas' longest-serving governor."

NPR has more details on Perry's announcement.

The Associated Press offers some background on Perry:

Longest-serving governor in Texas

The longest-serving governor in Texas history, Perry was a Democrat who became a Republican and an early adopter of tea party conservatism. He donned his signature cowboy boots, "Freedom" and "Liberty," and strode into the 2012 presidential race late, bragging about his state's strong job-creation record and flexing fundraising muscle. He became a front-runner nearly overnight, then saw his campaign collapse almost as quickly thanks to gaffes that he blamed on hubris and lingering pain from back surgery. This time, he's studied with policy experts, traveled extensively and trumpeted his five years in the Air Force. Will voters give him a second chance? "It's easier to judge someone by how they get up from a failure," he told The Associated Press last year. He's 65.

His rise to the top

In 1998, he was elected lieutenant governor and replaced Gov. George W. Bush in December 2000 when Bush was on his way to the White House. Perry erased any suggestion he was an accidental governor the following summer, vetoing 78 bills in the "Father's Day Massacre." As governor, he said in 2009 that he could understand why frustration with Washington might prompt some Texans to support secession. Overseeing a healthy Texas economy fueled by an oil boom, Perry won three more terms and could have sought a fourth, but didn't and left office in January.

Facing felony indictments

He is facing felony indictments in Austin for coercion and abuse-of-power. He is accused of threatening — then carrying out — a 2013 veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors. This, after the Democratic head of the unit rebuffed the governor's calls to resign following her conviction and jailing for drunken driving. Perry calls the case a "political witch hunt," but his attempts to get it quashed on constitutional grounds have failed.


On a Michigan debate stage in November 2011, Perry couldn't remember the third of three federal agencies he promised to close if he became president. After nearly a full minute of stammering, Perry finally muttered, "The third one, I can't. Oops." There was no sugarcoating that moment afterward: "I stepped in it."

Watch the "Oops" moment: