"I came to South Carolina because I will not sit back and accept the path America is on because a great country requires a better direction because a renewed nation needs a new president," Perry said. "It is time to get America working again and that's why with the support of my family and the unwavering belief of the goodness of America I declare for you today that I'm a candidate for President of the United States."
Perry, the longest-serving governor in the country who has accounted for 42 percent of all jobs created since the recession, maintained his anti-Washington rhetoric throughout his announcement speech, declaring that he will "work everyday to try and make Washington D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can."
"It's time to believe again in the potential of American enterprise set free from the shackles," Perry said. "The change we seek will never emanate out of Washington D.C., it will come from the windswept prairies of middle America, the farms and the factories across this great land."
With the economy and unemployment being the signature issues in the 2012 campaign, Perry's record as Texas governor in both areas would appear beyond reproach. And given that none of the current crop of Republican candidates really stood out in Thursday's debate, Perry enters the race with some momentum.
As with any other candidates, Perry will have to answer some questions about his past, specifically his being convinced by none other than Karl Rove to switch from being a Democrat to a Republican in 1989. And I can already hear the chanting points from leftists about what happened the last time this country elected a Texas governor to be President. The latter shouldn't be too difficult to swat away, as both the L.A. Times and New York Times ran stories within the past month detailing Bush and Perry's "falling out." Bush during his Presidency spent like a....well.....Democrat while Perry has a record of fiscal conservatism which will no doubt resonate with the electorate.
I get a sense that conservatives are feeling such a sense of urgency to oust Obama from the White House that many might be willing to overlook ideological purity for a candidate that has a legitimate shot to defeat the President in 2012. However, with Perry's record as a strong social and fiscal conservative with a record of strong job creation as Texas governor, we in the GOP may well have found the ideal candidate.