Four years after his first presidential campaign was crushed by the weight of his debate gaffe and stump speech mishaps, the governor who spent 14 years presiding over Texas launched his second bid for the Republican nomination on Thursday.
“I’m running for the presidency of the United States,” Perry said at a rally in Addison, Texas, adding earlier “we don’t have to settle for a world in chaos or an America that shrinks from its responsibilities.”
He’s ditched the signature cowboy boots and added black-rimmed glasses. He’s spent the intervening years recovering from health problems and boning up on policy.
Now, Perry is asking GOP primary voters for a second chance. He formally launched his campaign for the 2016 Republican nomination at Addison Airport, outside Dallas.
However, the big news came overnight in the form of a campaign video announcing his bid to be our next president.
Perry is one of the few Republican candidates that has served in the military. During his first attempt in 2012, he stormed into the race and stormed into the top spot for a few weeks, until a few bad debate performances and slip-ups on the campaign trail had him drop out. Over the past four years, his team as put a lot of emphasize on his training. They’ve released all sorts of Web ads in key early states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, trying to reintroduce us to “Rick Perry 2.0.”
Making his announcement Perry said, “”We have the power to make things new again, to project America’s strength again, and to get our economy going again. And that is exactly why today I am running for the presidency of the United States of America,” Perry told supporters at the kickoff of his campaign.
Perry announced his candidacy in front of a C-130 prop plane in an oversized hanger at the Addison Airport in this Dallas suburb.
The aircraft, emblazoned with the “Perry for President” logo, is similar to those he flew while serving as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. Guests at the announcement included American Sniper widow Taya Kyle and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, author of Lone Survivor.
During his speech, Perry highlighted his credentials as a former military officer. He also reminded supporters of Texas’ economic prosperity during his 14 years as governor.
“It can be done because it has been done – in Texas!” Perry said to cheers and chants of “Run Rick Run!” from the audience.
Perry recounted his modest upbringing on a cotton farm in rural Texas. He also wasted no time criticizing the Obama administration, blaming slow economic growth on overregulation and President Obama’s economic policy.
“We are a resilient country,” Perry said. “We’ve been through a civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression – we even made it through Jimmy Carter. We will make it through the Obama years.”
Perry made a series of “first-day as president” promises, including helping millions of graduates with college debt, lowering the corporate tax rate and signing an executive order approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.
He also made repeated references to reducing the role of government.
“We need to return power to the states and freedom to the individuals,” he said.
Economic polices used in Texas – lowering taxes, lessening regulation, stopping frivolous lawsuits – could be imported to Washington, he said.
Last year, Perry remained on the national stage as a forceful critic of Obama’s border security strategy. He deployed National Guard troops to the Texas border with Mexico to stem the tide of drug smugglers and unaccompanied children from Central American countries.
Freed by his decision not run for another term as Texas governor, Perry schooled himself in foreign policy, economics and other issues that dominate presidential campaigns by bringing in outside advisers for tutorials.