Rick Perry has announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination for president in 2016, making him the latest high-profile Republican to enter the race.
Perry will now look to find a way to stand out from the crowd in an increasingly crowded GOP field, one that appears to have nearly as many candidates as there are primary voters.
Perry will look to improve on his poor performance in the race for the 2012 nomination. That makes this something of a comeback effort for the former Texas governor, who found himself at the top of GOP polls early in the last primary cycle before poor debate performances and gaffes on the campaign trail sunk his bid.
Perry Announces in Texas
The formal announcement of his candidacy took place at Addison Airport outside Dallas on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Perry released an online video letting supporters know that he would be running a second time.
“If we’re going to revive this American dream again we need a president who provides leadership that transcends the petty partisanship we’ve seen in the last few years,” Perry said in the video. “Someone that’s been tested and a president who tells the American people the truth.”
In 2012, Perry made several gaffes, but the one that is best remembered was his inability to remember the name of one of the three federal agencies he pledged to abolish if he became president. This time, however, Perry may have work to do if he even wants to get into the televised debates.
Top Ten to Receive Debate Invites
Fox News has said that only the top ten Republican candidates, based on the average of the five most recent national polls from reputable polling agencies, will be invited to participate in their August 6 debate later this summer. In most years, this would be considered a rather generous rule, but in a year when there could be as many as 20 serious candidates for the GOP nomination, it’s unclear who will make the cut at this point.
Certainly, there are a few candidates that appear safe. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio have formed the early top tier, though even they are only averaging about 12 to 13 percent of the vote in recent polls.
Behind them is a second tier of candidates who are typically polling in the high single-digits, meaning they would be invited to the debates unless their support were to take a serious hit in the next few months. These include conservative doctor and author Ben Carson, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
If the debates were to be held today, and all expected candidates officially declare their bids, it is likely that the field would be rounded out by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, businessman/reality television star Donald Trump, and finally, in 10th place, Perry.
But there’s plenty of competition for that final spot: former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Ohio governor John Kasich, business executive Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal are among those who have either declared their candidacy or are expected to do so shortly.
Perry Exposes Anti-Online Gambling Views
If Rick Perry is looking for new supporters to bolster his chances, he is unlikely to find them among fans of online gambling. Perry has been a staunch opponent of Internet casino games and poker, going so far as to send a letter to Congressional leaders last year in order to voice his support for the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).
“Congress needs to step in now and call a ‘time-out’ by restoring the decades-long interpretation of the Wire Act,” Perry wrote.
So far, Rand Paul and Chris Christie have been the most prominent potential GOP presidential candidates to come out in support of online gambling, though many others have yet to stake out a position on the issue. Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio have both come out strongly against the recreational Internet activity.