RealClearPolitics started the rumor on Tuesday that Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, was quietly exploring the possibility of running for President. Mother Jones was among the publications that began pushing the story immediately. Today it’s blowing up all over the internet, as no one wants to be the last to speculate on Perry’s candidacy. After all Perry told the RNC that “The field is not settled.” Truth is–there is nothing but wishful thinking involved in this story. And maybe a few phone calls by friends of Perry who would like to see him run.
What makes this story plausible is that Perry’s book, Fed Up, was published last November and immediately became a conservative must-read. Perry attacked FDR, LBJ, and Barack Obama for the unconstitutional expansion of the federal government beyond anything imagined by the founding fathers. Immediately rumors began to spread that Perry was making plans to run for President. Plans that he repeatedly denied. And when he didn’t follow up with any overt moves, the rumors disappeared by the end of January.
But now with Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee out of the race and with Newt Gingrich intent on self-destruction, here come the rumors again. It’s not just the quality of the field, however, but the fact that Mitt Romney with whom Perry has had a feud dating back 5 years, is the clear front-runner. Could Perry stand by and watch the orginator and defender of Romneycare become the Republican nominee. Adding fuel to the fire is Perry’s position as chair of the Republican Governors’ Association, a position previously held by Haley Barbour and Mitt Romney, and used by both to explore Presidential bids.
But until a credible witness emerges to verify that Perry is pursuing a campaign and until there is confirmation of overt steps authorized by Perry–take these stories for what they are–unfounded rumors.