Tribpedia: Rick Perry

James Richard "Rick" Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, was sworn in as the state's 47th chief executive on Dec. 21, 2000, replacing then-Gov. George W. Bush upon his ascendancy to the White House. Perry was elected to a four-year term in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010. On July 8, 2013, Perry announced he would not run for another term, opening up not only the governorship but several other statewide positions for the first time in years. At this writing, he has not yet announced his future plans. 

A fifth-generation Texan, Perry grew up on a tenant farm in Paint Creek, a rural hamlet about 50 miles north of Abilene in the West Texas plains. His father, Ray, who had been a World War II tail gunner, served as a Haskell County commissioner and a school board member.

Perry graduated from Texas A&M University in 1972 and served in the U.S. Air Force until 1977, flying C-130s in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.

He first met his wife, Anita Thigpen, at a piano recital during their elementary school years. They married in 1982 and are the parents of two grown children, Griffin and Sydney.

As governor of Texas, Perry has transformed the office. His long tenure has allowed him to make more than 4,000 appointments across the broad spectrum of Texas agencies and commissions, often to contributors and political allies, arguably making him the most powerful governor Texas has had. His record reveals a strongly pro-business social conservative who frequently cites his Christian faith. His early acknowledgement of the Tea Party, well ahead of most other mainstream Republicans, was seen as prescient. His major missteps as governor -- support of the Trans Texas Corridor and the HPV vaccine – are exceptions to his reputation for political sure-footedness. His relatively moderate stance on immigration — granting children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition at state colleges, for example — became an early source of trouble in his failed presidential bid.    

On Aug. 13, 2011, Perry announced his candidacy for president in Charleston, S.C., at the Red State Gathering, an annual gathering of conservative bloggers. Perceived as a strong conservative alternative to perceived front-runner Mitt Romney, he quickly surged to the top of polls both nationwide and in the early caucus and primary states. Money flowed into his campaign, much of it from Texas, helping him make up for his relatively late entry into the campaign.

A series of gaffes and several poor performances in the GOP debates, culminating in his now-famous “Oops” moment at a CNBC debate in Michigan, sent voters in search of another candidate to carry the conservative torch. After a dismal fifth-place showing in the Iowa caucuses, Perry announced he was reassessing his campaign, widely taken as code for dropping out of the race. Early the next morning, after apparently consulting his family but not his staff, he tweeted his resolve to carry his campaign into South Carolina. His campaign had decided to bypass New Hampshire, the first primary of the season, and only took part in debates there. Perry’s sixth-place finish there, along with support flowing to every other “Not Romney” candidate in succession, finally spelled the end of his campaign, which he announced in South Carolina on Jan. 19, 2012, endorsing Newt Gingrich.

Perry returned to Texas amid speculation about his power base in the state and his viability as a future candidate. Following his decision not to run for governor in 2014, speculation centered around another presidential run, but close observers of Perry agree that predictability has never been among his traits.

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Republican nominee for president Donald Trump, former Texas Governor Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
Former Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin.
Rick Perry on campaigns in Kimballton, Iowa on August 17, 2015. Rick Perry campaigns at a meet and greet in Storm Lake, Iowa on August 17, 2015. The first GOP presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 6, 2015. Seven candidates didn't meet debate sponsor Fox News' polling criteria and met in this separate debate. Former Gov. Rick Perry at the first GOP presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Aug. 6, 2015. Former Gov. Rick Perry at the first GOP presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Aug. 6, 2015. Former Texas governor and presidential contender gives his stump speech in Windham, New Hampshire on July 4. 2015. Rick Perry delivers his stump speech to Republican voters and activists at a lake house near Derry, New Hampshire on July 3, 2015. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 2015. U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, hosted her first Roast and Ride in Boone, Iowa, on June 6, 2015. The fundraiser featured a lineup of Republican politicians vying for the audience's affections leading up to the Iowa caucuses. A group of veterans and supporters ride with Governor Rick Perry from Perry to Boone, Iowa, on June 6, 2015, as part of the Ride with Rick event. The fundraiser benefited the Puppy Jake Foundation, an organization that trains service dogs for wounded veterans. Former Gov. Rick Perry speaks to an audience of veterans and supporters at a fundraiser for the Puppy Jake Foundation in Iowa, on June 6, 2015. Former Gov. Rick Perry addresses Iowans on Monday in Le Mars. The stop came during a five-day swing through the critical early-voting state as Perry ramps up for a 2016 presidential bid. Former Gov. Rick Perry shakes hands at a Cedar Rapids event kicking off a five-day swing through Iowa in May. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz talks to supporters at the Peace Center in Greenville, S.C., on May 9, 2015. Rick Perry speaks at a question-and-answer forum in Taylors, S.C., on May 8, 2015. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Marcus Luttrell, a former Navy SEAL who escaped a 2005 Taliban ambush in Afghanistan. An image that appeared to be a Russian warship in Perry's military video was swapped out with this one featuring an American flag. A warship, believed to be Russian, that originally appeared in Rick Perry's video on the U.S. military. RickPAC ad from New Hampshire Journal Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA's "Inside Texas Politics" on Feb. 8y, 2014. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a video interview in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 5, 2015. David Botsford (l.) and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry at a press conference in Austin, Texas on Jan. 28, 2015. Rick Perry speaks to voters in Maccabee's Kosher Deli in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry campaigns at a Pizza Ranch in Indianola, Iowa. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines on Jan. 24, 2015. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics on Jan. 4, 2015. Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on Sept. 21, 2014. The Governor's Mansion, Austin, Texas. Republican Gov. Rick Perry and Democratic nominee for governor Wendy Davis made separate appearances before national audiences on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, Perry at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, Davis on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on Oct. 26, 2014. Comedian Joan Rivers and Gov. Rick Perry Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on Sept. 21, 2014. Gov. Rick Perry talks with New Hampshire voters at a GOP rally in Stratham, N.H., on Aug. 25, 2014. Gov. Rick Perry is shown with New Hampshire voters at the Defend Freedom Pork Roast in Rochester on Aug. 23, 2014. A New Hampshire voter with a recycled 2012 Perry for President sign listens to the governor speak in Stratham on Saturday. New Hampshire voters -- some wearing a RickPAC-issued T shirts -- gather in Stratham, NH on Aug. 23, 2014. Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu looks on as Gov. Rick Perry speaks at a Stratham rally on Saturday. Gov. Rick Perry poses with a traditional New Hampshire prop at an Americans for Prosperity event in Manchester on Friday. Gov. Rick Perry and New Hampshire Senate candidate Eddie Edwards speak after a Portsmouth luncheon on Aug. 22, 2014. Gov. Rick Perry speaks on his Texas economic efforts while speaking to New Hampshire business leaders in Portsmouth on Aug. 22. 2014. Texas Gov. Rick Perry laughs at a question during a Portsmouth, NH luncheon  Aug. 22, 2014. Governor Rick Perry was booked on two felony counts at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. Gov. Rick Perry speaks to the media and supporters after being booked at the Travis County Justice Center on August 19, 2014. Gov. Rick Perry speaks to reporters on Aug. 16, 2014, the day after a grand jury indicted him on two felony counts related to his veto of public integrity unit funding. Gov. Rick Perry speaks to press a day after a grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on Friday on charges of abuse of power August 16th, 2014 Gov. Rick Perry speaks to press a day after a grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on Friday on charges of abuse of power August 16th, 2014 Gov. Rick Perry speaks at an Aug. 16, 2014, news conference, the day after a grand jury indicted him on charges related to his veto of public integrity unit funding. "This indictment amounts to nothing more than abuse of power," Perry said. Rick Perry speaks at the RedState Gathering in Fort Worth, Texas on August, 8, 2014. Rick Perry speaks at the RedState Gathering in Fort Worth, Texas on August, 8, 2014. Rick Perry speaks at the RedState Gathering in Fort Worth on Aug. 8, 2014. Gov. Rick Perry appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live in Austin on 3/11/14. Texas Governor Rick Perry attends groundbreaking ceremony for Teletón USA CRIT children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas, on August 6th, 2013. Texas Governor Rick Perry attends groundbreaking ceremony for Teletón USA CRIT children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas. A screenshot of a TexasOne ad in Crain’s Chicago Business Journal aimed at Illinois businesses. Rick Perry at the Republican Party of Texas, Thursday March 8, 2012 ... Gov. Rick Perry in his office at the Texas Capitol for a round of press interviews on Feb. 21, 2012. Gov. Rick Perry in his Capitol office on Feb. 21, 2012, a month after leaving the presidential race. Governor Rick Perry's state Suburban parked in its usual spot outside the Texas Capitol on January 23, 2012 following his return to Texas after a failed Republican presidential primary bid. Rick Perry tells supporters he is dropping his bid for the GOP presidential nomination. Rick Perry prays from the stage at "The Response", a two-hour evangelical gathering in Greenville on January 17, 2012.  Perry is in South Carolina along with other presidential canddiates stumping for votes ahead of Saturday's Republican primary. Gov. Rick Perry praying at The Response, a two-hour evangelical gathering in Greenville, S.C., on Jan. 17, 2012, resembling the massive prayer event of the same name Perry hosted in August 2011. Rick Perry wipes a tear from his eye after completing an extended prayer from the podium at "The Response", an evangelical prayer gathering in Greenville, S.C. on january 17, 2012. Gov. Rick Perry in Aiken, SC with Cam Mitchell, 5, at Ryan's Market & Deli - Jan. 11, 2012 Gov. Rick Perry on the campaign trail with Gavin Stanley, 4. ABC, Yahoo! News and WMUR-TV host a Republican primary debate at Saint Anselm's College in Manchester, NH. Rick Perry and the other GOP candidates on stage before ABC News debate in Manchester New Hampshire 01/07/12. Gov. Rick Perry in Iowa on Dec. 29, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry campaigning for president in Pella, Iowa, on Dec. 28, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry and Sheriff Joe Arpaio campaign in Creston, Iowa on December 27, 2011. Republican Presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry attends a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa December 17, 2011. Republican Presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry attends a campaign event in Spencer, Iowa December 17, 2011. Rick Perry in Port City Underground restaurant in Muscatine IA Rick Perry Campaigns in Maquoketa, Iowa Bobby Jindal with Rick Perry in Maquoketa, Iowa - Dec. 20, 2011 Rick Perry's first stop for his presidential campaign bus tour in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Dec. 14, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Dec. 14, 2011 Rick Perry speaks with a member of the Point of Faith church in Waukee Iowa. Rick Perry addresses supporters at Cafe Diem in Ames, Iowa on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. Perry has a Sharpie pen in his hand to illustrate his vow to veto government-expanding legislation. Gov. Rick Perry speaking at a Veterans for a Strong America event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 10, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry greets Catcher Jones, 7, in Mount Pleasant, SC. Jones told Perry he wants to be president when he grows up. Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks during the announcment of the new Institute for Applied Cancer Science to be run at The Unversity of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Monday, November 28, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry, on Nov. 28, 2011, at the announcement of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science to be run at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Rick Perry being served water by Michele Backmann at the Family Leader forum in Des Moines Iowa. Texas Governor Rick Perry hosts a press conference with the Texas Association of Business leaders on April 6, 2006 at the Governor's Mansion. Texas Governor Rick Perry at an economic development press conference at the Governor's Mansion on September 25, 2002. Texas political leaders at a press conference outside the Governor's Mansion on May 17, 2006.  Left to right, Sen. Florence Shapiro, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Governor Rick Perry and House Speaker Tom Craddick. Director Ron Howard (l) laughs with Texas Governor Rick Perry at the Governor's Mansion on March 20, 2002 at a press conference. Governor Rick Perry hosts a formal dinner for the Border Governor's Conference at the Mansion on August 24, 2006. Texas Governor Rick Perry (c) and wife Anita Perry (r) greet California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Governor's Mansion on August 24, 2006. Gov. Rick Perry at a presidential forum hosted by conservative group Family Leader in Des Monies, Iowa. Gov. Rick Perry and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in Bettendorf, Iowa, for Perry's government reform speech. Gov. Rick Perry talking to the media after the CNBC Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9, 2011. Rick Perry meets with a worker in a South Carolina plastics plant before delivering his flat tax speech. Rick Perry at greenhouse at Pioneer, an agricultural company in Johnston, Iowa. At his left is Lane Arthur, VP for information management. Thursday, Nov. 3. Perry at Drake Diner in Des Moines Toomey with Perry in the Texas House in 1985. Gov. Rick Perry tours a steel mill in West Mifflin, Pa. before giving a speech there on Oct. 14. Candidate Rick Perry visits a fraternity house on the Dartmouth College campus following the Republican Debates on October 11, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry at the Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College on Oct. 11, 2011. Texas Governor at the Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire on October 11, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry arrives at Dartmouth College's Spaulding Auditorium in New Hampshire for the Oct. 11, 2011, Republican presidential debate. Governor Rick Perry ponders questions from a voter after his stump speech in Orange City, IA on October 8, 2011. Presidential candidate Rick Perry reaches out to Iowa Republicans after his speech in Orange City, IA on October 8, 2011. Candidate Rick Perry, r, speaks to a woman one on one after his campaign stop in Orange City, Iowa on October 8, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry delivers a campaign speech to a crowd in Orange City, Iowa, on Oct. 8, 2011. Western Iowa Republicans listen to a speech by candidate Rick Perry at the Pizza Ranch in Spencer Iowa on October 8, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry speaks at Pizza Ranch in downtown Spencer, Iowa, on Oct. 8, 2011. Governor Rick Perry poses with sisters Faith, l, and Grace Klatt after his speech to western Iowans in Spencer on October 8, 2011. The shadow of presidential candidate Rick Perry is cast on a brick wall during an early morning campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa on October 8, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry delivering his stump speech during an early morning campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa, on Oct. 8, 2011. A crowd of western Iowa voters listens to Governor Rick Perry's presidential campaign speech in Sioux City in the morning of October 8, 2011. Rick Perry gestures during a speech to western Iowa Republicans in the morning of October 8, 2011 in a Sioux City, Iowa pub. Gov. Rick Perry greets Iowans in Sioux City on Oct. 8, 2011. Candidate Rick Perry speaks to western Iowa Republicans in Sioux City, IA on October 8, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry speaking to Johnson County Republicans in Tiffin, Iowa, on Oct. 7, 2011. Governor Rick Perry makes a point during his stump speech to Iowa Republicans in Tiffin, Iowa on October 7, 2011. Candidate Rick Perry laughs while shaking hands and leaving the Republican Johnson County BBQ dinner in Tiffin, Iowa on October 7, 2011. Rick Perry speaks to Iowa Republicans in Tiffin, Iowa on October 7, 2011. Johnson County Iowa Republicans listen to Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry speaks in Tiffin, Iowa on October 7, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry sits in the crowd of Iowa Republicans at the Johnson County BBQ in Tiffin, Iowa on October 7, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry during a stump speech to Johnson County Republicans in Tiffin, Iowa, on Oct. 7, 2011. Candidate Rick Perry speaks to Iowa Republicans with a portrait of former President Ronald Reagan in the background in Tiffin Iowa on October 7, 2011. Presidential candidate Rick Perry gestures while giving a speech to the Johnson County Republican BBQ in Tiffin Iowa on October 7, 2011. Campaign materials for Gov. Rick Perry at the Johnson County Fall BBQ event in Tiffin, Iowa, where Perry spoke on Oct. 7, 2011. At the Johnson County annual fall barbecue in Tiffin, Iowa, on Oct. 7, 2011. Mike Toomey (l), former chief of staff for Texas Governor Rick Perry (r) with the governor on January 21, 2003 in his office on the eve of his second inaugural.  Toomey, now a high-powered lobbyist, and Perry have been friends since their first days in politics. Mike Toomey (l), former chief of staff for Texas Governor Rick Perry (r) stands with the governor on January 21, 2003 in his office on the eve of his second inaugural.  Toomey, now a high-powered lobbyist, and Perry have been friends since their first days in politics. Mike Toomey (l), former chief of staff for Texas Governor Rick Perry (r) stands with the governor on January 21, 2003 in his office on the eve of his second inaugural.  Toomey, now a high-powered lobbyist, and Perry have been friends since their first days in politics. Perry talking to supporter while touring the Manchester NH Chili Festival "State of the Texas Economy" infographic released by the Rick Perry presidential campaign on September 27, 2011. Rick Perry speaking at a Michigan GOP conference on Mackinac Island on Sept. 24, 2011. A portrait of Texas Governor Rick Perry hangs in the hallway on September 22, 2011,  outside the gymnasium at Paint Creek schools, where he attended school. A sunrise marks the beginning of a new September day in Paint Creek, Texas, home of Governor Rick Perry, on September 22, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry talks with Greene County Republicans in Jefferson, Iowa, on Sept. 15, 2011. Texas Gov. Rick Perry puts his hand on his heart while the color guard present the colors at the September 11 Memorial ceremony at the Texas State Cemetery on September 11, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry pauses for a moment before delivering a speech Sunday morning at the Texas State Cemetery's Twin Towers Memorial on September 11, 2011. A memorial wreath is displayed at the Texas State Cemetery Twin Towers Monument as Gov. Rick Perry visits with police officers on September 11, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry puts his hand over his heart during the September 11 memorial Sunday morning at the Texas State Cemetery on September 11, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry lays a wreath at the Texas State Cemetery's Twin Towers Memorial on the morning of September 11, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry answers questions at Steiner Ranch Elementary School after a helicopter tour of fire damage on September 6, 2011. A tired-looking Gov. Rick Perry listens to a reporter's question at the Bastrop Civic Center during a press conference on the wildfires on September 5, 2011. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, c,  answers question from citizens and the media in Bastrop after his return from a campaign trip to South Carolina on September 5, 2011. Rick Perry at a house party in New Hampshire on Sept. 3, 2011. Gov Rick Perry, l, poses for a photograph with James Leininger and wife Ceceile at a San Antonio event on November 15, 2007. A moving van sits parked on Congress Avenue outside the new Perry for President office where two movers were seen unloading furniture on August 29, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry after his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention in San Antonio on Aug. 29, 2011. Veterans salute during the Pledge of Allegiance at the 112th annual VFW Convention in San Antonio on August 29, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention in San Antonio on Aug. 29, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry at the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual convention in San Antonio on Aug 29, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry speaking at the VFW annual convention in San Antonio on Aug. 29, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry speaking at the VFW annual convention in San Antonio on Aug. 29, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry at the Veterans for Foreign Wars annual convention in San Antonio on Aug. 29, 2011. Rep. Rick Perry with Rep. Jerry Yost, Rep. Sylvester Turner, and Rep. Dan Shelley with reporters on the floor of the house during the 71st Legislative session, February 16, 1989. Rep. Rick Perry with Rep. Pete Laney and Rep. Ron Lewis the floor of the house during the 71st Legislative session, April 13, 1989. Protesters in Portsmouth await Perry's arrival at Popovers restaurant Thursday, where the Texas governor
will meet w/voters. Protesters in Portsmouth await Perry's arrival at Popovers restaurant Thursday, where the Texas governor
will meet with voters. Merkel, Texas October 3, 2006: Dedication of the Buffalo Gap Wind Farm, a project of AES Energy in Nolan County, TX Merkel, Texas October 3, 2006: Dedication of the Buffalo Gap Wind Farm, a project of AES Energy in Nolan County, TX Merkel, Texas October 3, 2006: Dedication of the Buffalo Gap Wind Farm, a project of AES Energy in Nolan County, TX Candidate Rick Perry, r, poses with Iowan Becky Roe and a copy of the 1965 Paint Creek High yearbook with Perry's football picture in it.  Roe was a classmate of Perry's and brought the yearbook to an event at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop on August 16, 2011 in Walcott, Iowa. Presidential candidate Rick Perry makes a speech at the Iowa 80 "World's Largest Truck Stop" at Walcott, Iowa on August 16, 2011. Outside of Paint Creek's school and six-man football field where Rick Perry attended class and tossed the pigskin as a child. Governor Rick Perry's parents' house in Paint Creek, Texas. Rick Perry appears in his senior high school yearbook as the "beau" of the Future Homemakers of America club in Paint Creek, Texas. Rick Perry appears sitting in a trash can in his sophomore yearbook in Paint Creek, Texas. Rick Perry appears in a high school reunion photo in Paint Creek, Texas. Rick Perry's senior yearbook photo as the quarterback of his football team in Paint Creek, Texas. Photos of Rick Perry and his childhood Boy Scouts of America troop in Paint Creek, Texas. Gov. Rick Perry lunches with business leaders at the Star Restaurant in Dubuque, Iowa, on Aug. 16, 2011. Governor Rick Perry lunches with Dubuque area business leaders on August 16, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry campaigns Monday at the Hamburg Inn restaurant in downtown Iowa City for the Republican presidential nomination. Texas Governor Rick Perry campaigns Monday at the Hamburg Inn restaurant in downtown Iowa City for the Republican presidential nomination. Texas Governor Rick Perry campaigns Monday at the Hamburg Inn restaurant in downtown Iowa City for the Republican presidential nomination. Gov. Rick Perry campaigns at the Hamburg Inn restaurant in downtown Iowa City. Texas Governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry walks through the Iowa State Fair with wife Anita Perry (r) on Monday, two days after entering the race for the Republican nomination for President. Reporters wait outside a campaign stop Tuesday morning in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for Governor RIck Perry on August 16, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry campaigns at the Iowa State Fair two days after entering the presidential race. Texas Governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry campaigns at the Iowa State Fair on Monday, two days after entering the race for the Republican nomination for President. Gov. Rick Perry campaigns at a private reception in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with family members standing by. Presidential hopeful Texas Governor Rick Perry campaigns at a private reception in Cedar Rapids, Iowa  with left to right, daughter Sydney Perry, daughter in law Meredith Perry, and son Griffin Perry (l) on the evening of August 15, 2011. Perry entered the race for the Republican nomination for president last week. Gov. Rick Perry campaigns at a private reception in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Aug. 15, 2011. Presidential hopeful Texas Governor Rick Perry (r) poses with Jimmy John (l) at a private reception in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Monday evening August 15, 2011. Perry entered the race for the Republican nomination for president last week. Gov. Rick Perry campaigns at a private Republican reception in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Aug. 15, 2011. Presidential hopeful Texas Governor Rick Perry (c) with wife Anita Perry (r) campaigns at a private reception in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Monday evening August 15, 2011. Perry entered the race for the Republican nomination for president last week. Governor Rick Perry (r) tries some Iowa pork with Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey (l) at the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2011. Presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry campaigns in Waterloo, Iowa on August 14th, 2011 Presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry eats a corn dog during a swing through the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2011. Presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry, speaks to crowd in Waterloo, Iowa on August 14th, 2011 Presidential hopeful, Governor Rick Perry speaks to crowd in Waterloo, Iowa on August 14th, 2011 Presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry, campaigns in Waterloo, Iowa on August 14th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Iowa State Fair during a campaign stop on Aug. 14, 2011. Rick Perry with a veggie dog at the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2011. Rick Perry with a veggie dog at the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2011. Rick Perry speaks at the Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2011. Rick Perry speaks at the soapbox at the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2011. Governor of Texas Rick Perry speaks at the soapbox at the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2011. Rick Perry for President campaign bus in Iowa on August 15th, 2011 Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey on August 15th, 2011 Rick Perry greets a visitor to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on August 15, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on August 15th, 2011 Texas Governor Rick Perry poses with a large photo of soldier Jimmy Benal who is deployed to Afghanistan, at the request of his mother at the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry takes a question at the Black Hawk County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner in Waterloo, Iowa, on Aug. 14, 2011. Rick Perry speaks at the Black Hawk County dinner on August 14, 2011. Governor Rick Perry talks about vetoing legislation while holding a pen onstage at the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo on August 14, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry listens to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's speech at an event in Waterloo, Iowa, on Aug. 14, 2011. Rick Perry listens to a speech by Michele Baumann at the Waterloo Electric Park ballroom on August 14, 2011. Governor Rick Perry speaks to Waterloo Republicans at the Electric Park Ballroom Lincoln Day dinner on his first foray to Iowa on August 14, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry enters the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, Iowa, during a three-day campaign swing through the Hawkeye State on Aug. 14, 2011. Governor Rick Perry greets Republican Linda Love at the Electric Park Ballroom on August 14th on his arrival in Iowa for three days of campaigning. Governor Rick Perry shakes hands with patrons at the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo upon his arrival in Iowa on August 14, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry answers media questions upon his arrival at the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, Iowa, on Aug. 14, 2011. Republican diners await the arrival of the candidates at Waterloo's Electric park Ballroom on August 14, 2011. Rick Perry for President buttons for sale outside the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, Iowa where Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann will speak this evening August 14, 2011. Protesters, dressed in Confederate garb, stage satirical rally in Charleston, South Carolina outside Red State event where Gov. Perry announced his presidential candidacy. Governor Perry on stage with his family after announcing his run for the 2012 presidency. Gov. Rick Perry announces his presidential bid in South Carolina on Aug. 13, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry gives a final hug to a speaker onstage at The Response at Reliant Stadium on August 6, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry attempts to hush the crowd as he is introduced at his prayer event, The Response, in Houston on Aug. 6, 2011. Governor Rick Perry addresses "The Response" at Reliant Stadium in Houston on August 6, 2011. Governor Rick Perry prays at The Response at Reliant Stadium on August 6, 2011. First Lady Anita Perry (l) and Rick Perry during the inaugural parade on January 21, 2003. State Rep. Rick Perry with Railroad Commissioner John Sharp (D) on the floor of the House during the 70th Legislative session, May 20, 1987. Rick Perry as a student and a cadet at Texas A&M University. Perry signs books and poses for photos in Denver at Western
Conservative Summit on July 29, 2011 June 18, 2011 - New Orleans July 27th,perry 2011 Gov. Rick Perry, l, talks with House Speaker Joe Straus, r, following a Cash Management Committee meeting at the Capitol on July 19, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry stops for an impromptu press conference in the hallway behind the Senate chamber on July 19, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media about his possible presidential plans after a meeting of the Cash Management Commitee on July 19, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 7, with Rep. John Zerwas R-Simonton and Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound on July 18th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry speaks at podium with Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound in the background before ceremonially signing Senate Bill 7 on July 18th, 2011 Rep. John Zerwas R-Simonton hugs Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound before Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 7 on July 18th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry shakes hands with Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound after ceremonially signing Senate Bill 7 State Rep. Rick Perry with House Speaker Gib Lewis (D-Fort Worth) during the 69th Legislative session, on September 2, 1986. Gov. Perry fires an M-32 grenade launcher. Rais Bhuiyan, the sole survivor of a 2001 shooting, speaks out at a press conference in Austin on July 14, 2011 about his lawsuit against Gov. Perry for not upholding his victim's rights . Fox News Sunday's Panel Plus pundits discuss the latest buzz over Gov. Perry's presidential prospects. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (r) waits on the dias with legislators (l to r) State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and State Rep. Harvey Hildebran, R-Kerrville, during a bill signing at the Boeing facility in San Antonio on June 23, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to the National Assn. of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) convention in San Antonio on June 23, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry hugs National Assn. of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) president Sylvia Garcia following his speech to the group in San Antonio on June 23, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry talks about the Texas economy while speaking in front of a Boeing 787 airplane during the ceremonial bill signing of HB3727 in San Antonio on June 23, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry (l) speaks with Boeing executives Dennis Muilenburg (c) and George Roman (r) at  the ceremonial bill signing of HB3727 relating to the appraisal of aircraft temporarily under production in Texas. Texas Governor Rick Perry gestures as he speaks at the ceremonial bill signing of HB3727 regarding property tax evaluations of aircraft at the Boeing facility in San Antonio on June 23, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry gestures during his speech to the NAELO  National Assn. of Latino Elected Officials in San Antonio on June 23, 2011. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (l) laughs with State Rep. Aaron Pena, R-Edinburgh, as he speaks to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NAELO) in San Antonio on June 23, 2011. Governor Rick Perry speaks at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) convention in San Antonio on June 23, 2011. Texas Gov. Rick Perry blows a kiss to his Secretary of State Hope Andrade (not shown) during his speech to the National Assn. of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) in San Antonio on June 23, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry carries his bags off a private plane at  the San Antonio International Airport on November 1, 2010. Texas Gov. Rick Perry departs a private plane at the San Antonio International Airport during a campaign stop on November 1, 2010 Gov. Rick Perry speaking to reporters alongside House Speaker Joe Straus, center, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during a post-session press conference at the Texas Capitol on May 30, 2011. House Speaker Joe Straus, left, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at a post-session press conference on May 31, 2011. Texas' three leaders (l to r), House Speaker Joe Straus, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appear at the Texas Capitol for their traditional post-session press conference on May 31, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry on May 30th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed HB 274 which relates to  lawsuit reform to Texas courts. He shakes hands with Rep. Brandon Creighton R-Conroe also joined by Sen. Joan Huffman R-Southside Place on May 30th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed HB 274, which brings lawsuit reforms to Texas courts, including a loser pay system for frivolous lawsuits on May 30th,2011 Gov. Rick Perry outside the House chamber on May 28, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry hugs the widow of Marine Cpl. Jeffrey W. Johnson, Katy Anguish, of Tomball, TX during Memorial Day services for fallen Texas soldiers Saturday May 28, 2011 in the House chamber. Gov. Rick Perry comforts Linda Reynolds, mother of Army Pfc. Benjamin Chisholm of Fort Worth during Memorial Day services for fallen Texas soliders at the Texas Capitol on May 28, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry (l) comforts Betty Martinez, mother of Army Pfc. John Edward Andrade, Sr. of San Antonio (r) as the legislature honored fallen Texas soldiers during Memorial Day services in the House chamber on May 28, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry waves to the chair as he walks through the Senate chamber on his way to negotiate a deal on school finance that appeared to be "very close" to a deal in the last days of the 82nd Legislative Session on May 27, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry speaks to the press after leaving a school finance meeting between leaders in the House and Senate May 27, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry (r) looks at the crowd of reporters in the Governor's Reception Room as State Sen. Troy Fraser (l), R-Marble Falls, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst react at the Voter ID bill signing on May 27, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at the voter ID bill signing on May 27, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs the Voter ID on May 27, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry (l) gestures toward House Speaker Joe Straus (r) during the Voter ID bill signing on May 27, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry (l) reacts to a reporter's question on his presidential aspirations as Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (c) and House Speaker Joe Straus (r) listen during the Voter ID bill signing ceremony on May 27, 2011. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, speaks at the ceremonial bill signing of HB3000 by Texas Governor Rick Perry (l) on May 25, 2011. Attorney General Greg Abbott, Gov. Rick Perry, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson and Department of Public Safety chief Steve McCraw at the signing of House Bill 3000 on May 25, 2011. Texas Gov. Rick Perry signs HB3000 a bill increasing the penalties on human trafficking during a ceremony on May 25, 2011. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (c) hugs the hands of State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (r), D-Houston, after the ceremonial signing of HB300 a bill on human trafficking on May 25, 2011. Gov. Perry ceremonially signs HB 15, which requires a woman to have a sonogram before an abortion. He is joined by Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston and Rep. Sid Miller R-Stephenville on May 24th, 2011 Gov. Perry ceremonially signs HB 15, which requires a woman to have a sonogram before an abortion. He is joined by Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston and Rep. Sid Miller R-Stephenville on May 24th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 18, which implements landmark eminent domain joined by Ag. Comm. Todd Staples, Sen. Craig Estes R-Whichita Falls, and Rep. Charlie Geren, R-River Oaks on May 23rd, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 18, a piece of eminent domain legislation, on May 23, 2011, beside state Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, and Rep. Charlie Geren, R-River Oaks. Gov. Rick Perry makes a playful salute to the son of State Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, as he walked through the House chamber on his way to a meeting with House Speaker Joe Straus at noon on May 19, 2011. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (c) visits with House members to discuss the state budget issues at the back railing on May 19, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry (kneeling) talks with Gray Eiland, the son of State Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, during a visit to the House chamber to discuss budget issues on May 19, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry (l) gestures toward Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, during his visit to the Senate floor on May 5, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry (c) speaks with reporters outside the Senate Chamber on May 5, 2011. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (r) whispers closely into the ear of Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Marble Falls, during a visit to the Senate Chamber on May 5, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry kicks off final leg of torch run for the Special Olympics at the Texas Capitol on May 4th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry kicks off final leg of the Special Olympics torch run at the Texas Capitol on May 4th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry (c) visits the Texas House and talks to Rep. Gary Elkins (l), R-Houston and Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, on April 26, 2011. Governor Rick Perry hold a basketball given to him by the national champion Texas A&M women's basketball team on April 26, 2011. Governor Rick Perry (c) holds the hand of teacher Joan Stein as he greets schoolkids outside the Texas Capitol shortly after lunch on April 19, 2011. Texas Governor Rick Perry poses with schoolchildren outside the Texas Captiol prior to returning to his office on April 19, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry during higher education press conference on April 14th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry during higher education press conference April 14th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry at the Frank Erwin Center on March 23rd, 2011. March 23rd, 2011 at the Frank Erwin Center. Cindy Brady of New Braunfels holds a sign with a suggestion for Governor Perry at the Save Our Schools rally on March 12, 2011 Gov. Perry with members of Texas House and Senate hold press conference to discuss importance of 10th Amendment. March 9th, 2011 Gov. Perry with members of Texas House and Senate hold press conference to discuss importance of 10th Amendment. March 9th, 2011 Gov. Rick Perry delivering his State of the State address on Feb. 8, 2011 Word cloud aggregate of Rick Perry's State of the State speeches from 2001 to 2011. Word cloud of Rick Perry's State of the State speech in 2011. Word cloud aggregate of Rick Perry's State of the State speeches from 2001 to 2009. Word cloud of Rick Perry's State of the State speech in 2009. Word cloud of Rick Perry's State of the State speech in 2007. Word cloud of Rick Perry's State of the State speech in 2005. Word cloud of Rick Perry's State of the State speech in 2003. Word cloud of Rick Perry's State of the State speech in 2001. Gov. Rick Perry, the keynote speaker at The Annual Texas Rally for Life at the Capitol on  January 22, 2011. Gov. Rick Perry as the keynote speaker at The Annual Texas Rally for Life at the Capitol on  January 22, 2011. Inaugural of Texas Governor Rick Perry on the south steps of the Texas Capitol 01-18-11. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst shakes hands with Gov. Rick Perry at the 2011 inauguration. Speaker Straus and Gov. Rick Perry shake hands at the 2011 Inauguration. Texas Gubernatorial Term Lengths: 1846-2011 Gov. Rick Perry gives a speech at the 2011 inauguration. Gov. Rick Perry swears into office in 2011. Press risers at Perry's 2011 inauguration. Reporters at Gov. Rick Perry's 2011 inauguration. House Speaker Joe Straus, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst Governor Rick Perry, Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst after their first weekly breakfast meeting saying they will work together on the state budget. Governor Rick Perry, Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst after their first weekly breakfast meeting saying they will work together on the state budget. Governor Rick Perry, Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst after their first weekly breakfast meeting saying they will work together on the state budget. Governor Rick Perry, Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst after their first weekly breakfast meeting saying they will work together on the state budget. Governor Rick Perry, Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst after their first weekly breakfast meeting saying they will work together on the state budget. Perry Speaks on the First Day of Session 2011 The lieutenant governor greets Gov. Rick Perry as he takes the podium in the Senate. Rick Perry being interviewed by Evan Smith at Triblive in Austin Governor Rick Perry book signing at the Dell Diamond "Fed Up!" The Word Cloud. Perry and White in the home stretch of the 2010 election. Gov. Rick Perry at a grassroots event in Dallas, TX, on Nov. 1, 2010.

Rick Perry and Bill White Gov. Rick Perry in Austin on Oct. 15, 2010. Gov. Rick Perry getting his hair cut. Results of the September 2010 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in the general election for governor. Screen Shot: Perry's Open for Business Ad Gov. Rick Perry, campaigning at a barbecue restaurant in Temple. Gov. Rick Perry, campaigning at a barbecue restaurant in Temple. How much does it cost to be a regent? Screenshot of "Insensitive" Gov. Rick Perry at a Texas Association of Broadcasters conference in Austin on Aug. 12, 2010 "Yes, We Can" screenshot Screenshot of White's "Part-Time Perry" video The map represents contributions to the major-party candidates in the Texas' governor's race: incumbent Gov. Rick Perry (red) and former Houston mayor Bill White (blue). The map compares contribution totals from Feb. 21 to June 30 to each candidate with each city's populations. The bubbles grow larger in cities where residents disproportionately donated based on the overall population. Numerous contributors who supported U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's unsuccessful campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in March are now backing other candidates. Mapping the endorsements of county sheriffs in the governor's race. Bill White and Rick Perry have their sights set on the governor's office Screenshot from Perry's "Bill White, Liar Liar" ad. Screenshot from Neil Cavuto on Gov. Rick Perry A screen shot from Gov. Rick Perry's campaign web video. Rick Perry and Dolph Briscoe Governor Rick Perry's campaign is handing out "White Wash Convention: Media Survival Kit." Governor Rick Perry spokesman,  Mark Miner, has come to the Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi to campaign against Gubernatorial candidate Bill White. Gov. Rick Perry, speaking to the Texas Federation of Republican Women First general session of the Texas Republican Convention featuring Governor Rick Perry and his wife Anita all the other statewide elected officials. First general session of the Texas Republican Convention featuring Governor Rick Perry and his wife Anita all the other statewide elected officials. Gov. Rick Perry being endorsed by his former GOP primary rival, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, at the 2010 Republican Party of Texas Convention. Gov. Rick Perry being endorsed by his former GOP primary rival, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison at the 2010 Republican Party of Texas Convention. Gov. Rick Perry, closing his speech to the first general session of the Texas Republican Convention. Kay Bailey Hutchison endorsing Rick Perry for governor at a Texas Federation of Republican Women breakfast. Kay Bailey Hutchison endorsing Rick Perry for governor at a Texas Federation of Republican Women breakfast. A screenshot from a web ad by Gov. Rick Perry's campaign. A cartoon version of Gov. Rick Perry from a Bill White web video. October 19, 2008. Gov. Rick Perry before the IBM Uptown Classic road race in Austin, TX. Perry campaign word cloud visualizes press releases in recent weeks. #71 "Texans for Rick Perry" car racing at the Samsung Mobile 500. BIll White, Rick Perry at their Primary 2010 reception speeches. Rick Perry, Bill White Gov. Rick Perry after his primary victory on March 2, 2010. Screen shot of Gov. Rick Perry's ad, "The Queen." Screenshot of Rick Perry's "Tenth Amendment." Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a campaign event for Gov. Rick Perry in 2010. "1993," a political ad for Gov. Rick Perry. Republican gubernatorial debate coverage GOP gubernatorial debate at The University of North Texas Rick Perry tent GOP gubernatorial debate, 2010 A view of the GOP governor's race from Twitter. You know you've made it when... U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Gov. Rick Perry. The iconic Texas Governor's Mansion was nearly demolished by fire in June 2008 after an arsonist hurled a Molotov cocktail at the front door. Governor Rick Perry at the podium in his press conference room Perry shakes hands after a speech in the Texas House.

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