Group raises $400,000 in three weeks for Perry

Chris Moody

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is still mum about whether he'll jump into the race for the White House, but supporters are trying to spur him on by flashing a ton of cash in his name.

Americans for Rick Perry, an outside group with no formal affiliation to the governor, announced Thursday that it had raised $400,000 in three weeks, a sign that he will have a solid foundation of financial support if he decides to run.

California-based GOP strategist Bob Schuman, who started the group, said he plans to expand the organization throughout the country, and just hired Iowa-based operative Craig Schoenfeld, formerly with Newt Gingrich's campaign, to head up operations there. The group is working to secure a spot for the governor at the straw poll in Ames, Iowa, which traditionally serves as a important early benchmark on the presidential campaign trail.

Perry has hinted that he will run, but says he will not make a decision about his 2012 plans until after a national prayer meeting in Houston on Aug. 6.

Americans for Rick Perry is listed as a 527 under the United States tax code, meaning that the group can solicit unlimited amounts from donors.