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The Brief: Aug. 11, 2011

In a new interview, Rick Perry says he thinks he's got a shot at turning California red.

Governor Rick Perry addresses "The Response" at Reliant Stadium in Houston on August 6, 2011.

The Big Conversation:

In a new interview, Rick Perry says he thinks he's got a shot at turning California red.

In perhaps the most extensive sit-down he has granted since speculation about his presidential ambitions kicked into high gear earlier this summer, Perry tells Time's Mark Halperin that while he knows it'd be difficult for a Republican to win California, he'd "go out there" and "have a story that’ll [make] a lot of people — independents and maybe even some Democrats — look at me and go, 'That’s the type of individual that we can get behind. You know to make America proud of itself again.'"

In the interview, Perry also touts Texas, talks more about why his wife wanted him to run, discusses a phone call he had in July with George W. Bush and lays out the four principles that would guide his presidency: "Don't spend all the money," "have a tax structure that's fair," "have a regulatory climate that is fair" and "have a legal system that doesn't allow for over-suing."

When asked whether any aspect of running for president intimidates him, Perry flatly says no. "I think that was a bit of a hurdle initially," he says, "but I’m very calm in my heart that this is what I’m supposed to be doing."

Meanwhile, though Perry won't be in attendance at tonight's Fox News/Washington Examiner Republican debate in Iowa (the first to feature former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman), his imminent candidacy continues to loom over the field. As The New York Times reports today, Perry's likely entry into the race has forced presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney to recalibrate his Iowa strategy.

“He has to change his strategy and go toe to toe with a guy like Rick Perry,” Doug Gross, the Iowa chairman of Romney’s 2008 campaign, tells the Times. “There’s a ton of people out here who are Romney supporters last time that, frankly, are still looking for a place to go. He’s got this capital in the bank; he needs to use it.”

The Examiner reported Wednesday that Perry — whom a new CNN poll, like many recent surveys, puts in second place behind Romney — will stay for a couple of days in Iowa after his Sunday visit, setting the scene for a direct contrast with President Obama, who's set to swing through the state on Tuesday.

Culled:

  • The Response may have given him the most visible national platform of his career, but Gov. Rick Perry may have just officially made it big — as the subject of Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert's mockery of so-called Super PACs. In a new ad, which Colbert said would run in Iowa on Wednesday, Colbert urges Iowans to support "Rick Parry" as a write-in candidate at Saturday's Iowa Straw Poll. "That’s Parry with an ‘A’ for America," the ad clarifies, "with an ‘A’ for Iowa."
  • Tom Tancredo, the former Colorado congressman and short-lived 2008 Republican presidential candidate, has penned an op-ed in Politico slamming Rick Perry's record on immigration. "When I ran for president in 2008, I tried to pressure the Republican candidates to take a hard line against illegal immigration," Tancredo writes. "For this, Perry called me a racist."
  • U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, has been appointed to co-chair the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a powerful panel tasked with cutting federal budget deficits by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The New York Times has a look at how the committee's nine members, including Hensarling, likely one of the most fiscally conservative members of Congress, have voted on recent budget bills.
  • In an interview with the Tribune's Ross Ramsey, Democratic Senate candidate Ricardo Sanchez talks about why he wants to run, why he thinks a Democrat could win in 2012 and why he thinks aspects of education policy could be considered the "new segregation."

"My supporters don't leave just because others get into the campaign." — Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to the San Francisco Chronicle on Rick Perry's entry into the race

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