Rick Perry To Enter Presidential Race On June 4th

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is going to be looking for that elusive second act in American politics.


The Dallas Morning News is reporting that former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who entered the 2012 Presidential race rather late but nonetheless quickly jumped to the top of the polls only to see his fortunes come crashing down thanks in no small part to his disastrous debate performances, will be announcing his second run for the White House on June 4th:

Former Gov. Rick Perry has chosen Dallas to officially declare his second run for the Republican presidential nomination in three weeks.

For months Perry has said that he would announce his decision in May or June. But his constant travel to the early contest states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida has left little doubt of his intentions.

Perry joins a burgeoning field of contenders, including fellow Texan Sen. Ted Cruz.

Unlike four years ago, when he rushed into the contest after seeing he could raise quick money and was leading in polls, Perry enters this contest as an underdog.

He is polling in single digits, but again unlike his last run, he has spent more than a year in preparation. He has consulted weekly with conservative experts on foreign relations and economic policy. He has assembled advisers and campaign teams in the early states and has even taken tutoring in public speaking.

He has frequently acknowledged mistakes in his last run – entering while still ailing from recent back surgery and being under-prepared for the rigors and questions on the campaign trail.

In the 2016 contest, he will begin from behind, not only trying to push his message through the similar-sounding policies advanced by a large pack of candidates, but he also must erase memories of his previous debate flops and campaign stumbles.

Perry has been stressing that he is the only GOP candidate – save for potential rival South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham – who has served in the military.

He also has touted his executive experience as Texas governor for 14 years. But he has competition with that credential from top-tier contenders Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

He will also mostly certainly stress his economic record in Texas, which has led the nation in job creation. He underscores lawsuit limits, minimum regulations on businesses and low taxes for firing the state’s economic engine, which has sputtered in recent months with the plunge in oil prices.

Technically, of course, Perry hasn’t yet officially said that he’s running for President, but as with previous cases, you don’t announce an event such as the one that Perry has announced if you’re going to announce that you’re not running for President. That’s what press releases or YouTube videos are for. So, while most media outlets are simply reporting that Perry will announce his Presidential intentions on June 4th, we can all safely assume that he is in fact running.

Perry will enter the 2016 race in far different position than he was in during the late summer of 2011 when he reversed his previous decision to stay out of the race and announced his candidacy at an event in South Carolina being held the same day as the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa. Back then, even just the anticipation of Perry as a candidate had his numbers rising in the polls and, when he announced, he quickly jumped to the top of the polls. More importantly, his fundraising in that first month or so that he was in the race was among some of the most impressive we’ve ever seen from any primary candidate. All of that, however, happened before the round of debates that began in mid-September and continued through November, during which Perry found himself getting attacked over his positions on immigration and even vaccination. Worse than that, though, were the personal flubs such as when he called those who disagreed with his position on immigration reform heartless and when he couldn’t name the three Federal agencies his own proposed budget plan would eliminate. By November, Perry’s star had collapsed and his candidacy was effectively dead.

The memory of that bad 2012 campaign seems to be fresh in the mind of Republican voters at this point in the 2016 cycle. Whether it’s in the national polling, or in state polling in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, Perry is averaging no higher than 3.0%, putting down at the bottom of the pack with candidates such as Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie. The only state where he does slightly better than that is South Carolina where he’s averaging 4.7% in the polls, but even then he’s still at the bottom of the Republican field. For any candidate, these are bad numbers not the least because it makes it less likely that they’ll be able to get fundraising support and also likely makes it harder to hire top-level staffers, because few people want to work on a campaign that has little chance of winning, In Perry’s case, it’s doubly difficult because he’s arguably already had his chance on the national stage and failed miserably. As I’ve noted before, the question will be whether he’s able to put all of that behind him and essentially give himself a second act. Given the fact that he’ll be trying to do so on a campaign stage with a large number of other candidates, many of whom are arguably equally as qualified as he is, it seems as though it’s going to be a difficult task.

Perry’s task is likely to be made more difficult by the fact that he has a criminal indictment for public corruption hanging over his head that is likely to go to trial while he’s trying to convince Republican voters to support him. That case, you may recall, involves a political dispute between Perry and the woman serving as chief prosecutor in Austin at the time he was Governor. Because of her location, her office was responsible for investigating allegations between state agencies and state officials and had often been a thorn in the side of the Perry Administration. After the prosecutor was arrested on a DUI charge, Perry said that he would not sign the bill funding her office unless she resigned. The indictment essentially alleges that Perry improperly used his veto power against the prosecutor, which is an odd charge in itself since the Texas Constitution gives the Governor an unlimited veto power. Legal scholars on both sides of the aisle have argued that the indictment is legally insufficient, but despite that the Judge presiding over the case has denied several attempts by Perry’s attorneys to dismiss the case, most recently in January. The next step in the proceedings would be the matter to go to trial and, even if Perry is ultimately acquitted as many expect him to be, it’s going to be next to impossible to spin that into something positive for the campaign.

Is it possible that Rick Perry could get that second act he’s looking for? If everything goes right for him, then yes it’s possible. It’s just not very likely.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. al-Ameda says:

    Simply put: Yay.
    I hope he’s in for the long run, the entertainment value is tremendous. And, to be honest, I’d rather deal with lightweight Rick than the toxic Scott Walker.

  2. Hal_10000 says:

    I think Perry is a more serious contender than a lot of people think. It seems to me that his heart wasn’t in it in 2012. He ran because people wanted him to run because they wanted someone other than Mitt Romney (well, someone who wasn’t insane). I wasn’t surprised by his debate performance because he just didn’t care that much.

    I think he’ll be more serious this time. It would not surprise me at all if he did very well. He’s a much more likely candidate than Cruz or Carson or Paul.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    I just don’t have the energy to give a sh!t about every new Republican. They’re going to have to winnow this field before I can care.

  4. grumpy realist says:

    Yah, we know that Perry is Very Serious this time around because he’s wearing horn-rimmed glasses.

    Any other doofuses on the horizon about to jump into the (already overcrowded) swimming pool?

  5. gVOR08 says:

    @Hal_10000: The press already have the established narrative from ’12 that Perry’s not terribly bright. I don’t know whether that’s because, as he claimed, he was on pain meds, he got a bad rap, or he really just isn’t terribly bright. But I’m not seeing how he’ll turn that around.

    Anybody know who Perry’s Fairy God-Billionaire is?

  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’m just wondering how much the political / style & PR consultant who told him “people won’t think you’re stupid – or as stupid – if you wear these nifty glasses” charged him for the advice.

  7. EddieInCA says:

    Already In:


    Announcenment pending:


    Exploration Committees – not yet announced:


    Publicly disclosed interest in running:


    That’s fifteen announced or about to announce, and five more interested for a total of 20.

    What stage will be big enough for even 15 announced candidates?

    How do you do a debate with 10-15 Candidates?

    How do you keep any announced candidate out of a first debate?

  8. Hal_10000 says:


    Indeed, this is one of the reasons my wife thinks we should just get rid of primaries and have the candidate picked by the convention again. The current system is not only damaging to the parties but encourages idiots with delusion of grandeur to jump in.

  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    “This time will be different!

    This time I have glasses.”

    Edit: whoops, I see Harvard beat me to the overused punch.

  10. michael reynolds says:


    The guys who should run are in right wing media. I would love to see a Hannity type jump in. Why not? Everyone else is in, and surely there’s a billionaire for Hannity somewhere.

  11. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA: The 2016 version of Perry’s “Oops” moment will go as follows:

    CANDIDATE: When I’m president, I’ll eliminate the Departments of Education, Commerce, and….

    MODERATOR: Time’s up!

  12. Mr. Prosser says:

    @grumpy realist: Your swimming pool reference immediately reminded me of the swimming pool doody panic in Caddyshack. There will probably be some sort of doody panic initiated to clear the candidate pool.

  13. @EddieInCA:

    It will be like FIFA. They break into 4 man group stage and only the winners of each group get to advance to the knockout rounds.

  14. Cd6 says:

    I’m delighted, he’ll be fun to write.

    This things goin all the way to a brokered convention and it’s going to be glorious

  15. Scott says:

    Well, there is a real record here in Texas and it is not all positive. The legislature is just wrapping up and it’s finding the Texas infrastructure is just a mess. A whole lot of debt was added to keep taxes low. Perry allowed an innocent person to be put to death. A life long state employee, he double dipped a pension and Governor’s salary. There are some real conservatives who are diligently trying to clean things up while dealing with Tea Party whackos. Yes, it is quite a record.

  16. EddieInCA says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Does that make Reince Preibus Sepp Blatter?

    Group 1 – Northeast


    Group 2 – Midwest


    Group 3 -Southeast


    Group 4 – Southwest


    I can’t figure out which is the group of death. If you don’t follow soccer, you won’t get the reference.

  17. @EddieInCA:

    I was thinking more:

    Governor Group, Money Group, War Group, Jesus Group, and Crazy Group

  18. EddieInCA says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Seriously. Almost all of them overlap too much. Most of them are in the crazy group. Huckabee would fit into four of the five. Bush would fit into three of five. Santorum would fit into four of them. Perry fits into all five.

    Man, this is gonna be AWESOME!!

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Or we send them all to an island somewhere, divide them into tribes, make them eat bugs and start fires with nothing but sticks. Each week they vote one person off the island. We winnow it down until we’ve got an even dozen, then we go to the talent competition, to be judged by Simon Cowell, Howard Stern and a very drunk Lindsay Lohan. The public can vote/contribute by phone or laptop, and the winner gets Sheldon Adelson’s money.

  20. Mikey says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It will be like FIFA.

    I’d prefer Thunderdome.

  21. CSK says:

    OT, but Tsarnaev has received the death sentence.

  22. stonetools says:

    The sound you here is that of comedians high fiving each other all over the United States.

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I still like your idea of throwing all the candidates in a Coliseum with swords and having them fight it out.

    The image of Huckabee dressed up as a Roman gladiator warms my cold-blooded heart.

  24. Gustopher says:

    I think the 2012 fiasco will be quickly forgotten if he doesn’t do anything really, really stupid. If he prepares, he can do well.

    He doesn’t have to be a clown. He might end up being one, again, but he doesn’t have to be one.

    Here’s hoping he taps into his inner Bozo instead of his inner Bonzo — they are all auditioning for the role of Ronald Reagan’s pet monkey, right?

  25. Slugger says:

    It was widely reported that Mr. Perry’s poor showing during the 2012 debates was due to back pain medication. I had a small business once; if you showed up for your interview stoned, you would not have gotten a second chance.

  26. Andre Kenji says:


    Perry allowed an innocent person to be put to death.

    There are probably more than one, aren´t that?

    A life long state employee, he double dipped a pension and Governor’s salary.

    Yes. That´s what politicians do in Latin America and in Italy.

  27. Tillman says:

    @Hal_10000: He has the advantage of low expectations working for him. We have a higher standard for Clinton because Clinton’s repeatedly demonstrated being able to meet such standards.

    My money’s still on Rubio cracking his psychopath shell, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rick Perry on a debate stage couching a slimmish copy of Critique of Pure Reason For Dummies taking off.

  28. Argon says:

    Perry became wealthy while in office, but jeez, what an idiot. Doesn’t he realize that he reached the point of peak graft as governor of Texas? Generally speaking, POTUS is not a great, personal economic boost for those who hold the office. Clinton is an outlier and probably would’ve attained riches regardless.

    If you want the big *easy* bucks you stay in Texas politics.

  29. Paul Hooson says:

    His last outing proved that he was poor in debates as well as running a weak campaign. I doubt to see much improvement this time around. Why is he even running? Likely the stronger candidates will be Bush, Walker, Rubio and maybe Rand, where probably Bush tops the list in the end.