Rick Perry is rethinking his pledge not to run for president
By Holly Bailey – Wed May 25, 12:55 pm ET
Rick Perry has repeatedly said he won't run for president in 2012, but there are signs he might not stick to that pledge.
In a press conference Tuesday, the Texas governor notably declined to "rule out" a White House bid, amid calls from Rush Limbaugh and others that he should enter the 2012 race.
Meanwhile, his top strategist acknowledged to the Texas Tribune that Perry is, indeed, "thinking about" a bid for the GOP nomination—though he insisted his boss is far from actually entering the race.
The development comes on the heels of a report last week that suggested Perry is waiting to be "summoned" into the 2012 presidential race. But it's unclear how much momentum the Texas governor actually has in the GOP primary.
As The Ticket noted yesterday, there's been an uptick in those floating Perry for the GOP nod in the wake of Mitch Daniels' decision to bypass next's year race. But polling suggests a different reality for Perry. He's barely mentioned in most national polling, and a Texas Tribune poll released yesterday found that just 4 percent of Texas Republicans want him to run for president.
Yesterday, Perry, who is head of the Republican Governors Association, did not repeat his forceful declarations that he will not be a nominee for president in 2012 when asked about his White House buzz. Instead, he dodged the question by saying he's focused on his day job.
"I've got my focus on where it's appropriately supposed to be, and that's this legislative session," Perry said. "I've said multiple times I'm not going to get distracted from my work at hand, and I'm not going to get distracted today, either."
But Perry strategist Dave Carney admits his boss is giving a race some thought.