Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry made it official on Thursday, joining the already-crowded field of candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Perry, whose infamous “Oops” moment during the last GOP primary derailed what had been a promising start to his 2012 campaign, announced his latest bid at a rally inside a hot airplane hanger north of Dallas.
“We’re at the end of an era of failed leadership,” Perry told supporters. “We are a resilient country. We’ve been through a civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression — we even made it through Jimmy Carter. We will make it through the Obama years.”
Perry was joined onstage by Taya Kyle, widow of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, author of “Lone Survivor.”
“We have the power to make things new again, to project America’s strength again, and to get our economy going again,” he continued. “And that is exactly why I am running for the presidency of the United States of America.”
Rick Perry smiles after announcing that he will run for president Thursday in Dallas. (Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Perry, the longest-serving governor of Texas, has revamped his strategy since his disastrous exit from the last race.
"Since leaving the governor’s mansion in January, he has boned up on foreign and domestic policy with a rotating team of advisers,” Yahoo News’ Liz Goodwin writes. “He no longer wears his signature cowboy boots, which exacerbate the back problems that dogged him in 2012, and he has started sporting black-framed ‘hipster’ glasses that lend him some gravitas. His advisers say his loss taught him humility that will fuel his comeback.”
Four years ago, Perry launched his bid as an instant front-runner as a proven jobs-creator in the Lone Star state. But this time around, Perry enters a race that has no such candidate.
Perry is the 10th major candidate to formally announce a run for the Republican nomination — and that doesn’t include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is expected to formally announce his bid later this month.
According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, seven GOP hopefuls are within three points of one another. Perry, however, is not one of them.
In Iowa, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has opened a slight edge on the field. According to the latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll of likely Republican caucus-goers, Walker tops the list at 17 percent with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson tied for second at 10 percent each. Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are polling fourth at 9 percent.