ABC News' Arlette Saenz reports:
Texas Governor Rick Perry told the Des Moines Register that he feels “called” to run for president but insisted he's not ready to make an announcement.
“I’m not ready to tell you that I’m ready to announce that I’m in,” Perry told the Des Moines Register in a phone interview last week.” But I’m getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs.”
These are the most direct comments about a presidential bid from Perry since he told reporters in May that he was thinking about a run.
Perry has reached out to Republican operatives, officials and donors across the country in the past weeks especially in New Hampshire and Iowa, leading many to believe he’s about to jump in the race.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad told Politico he thinks a Perry 2012 bid is “very likely.”
“My lieutenant governor’s gotten a call from him. He’s put out some feelers in Iowa. The sense is that it’s very likely he’s will enter the field,” Branstad said.
Should he decide to run, Perry’s economic record coupled with his social conservative values will be the major selling points for his campaign.
“If anybody tries to argue the fact that we have not created an economic juggernaut in the state of Texas, then they’re either politically naive, they have a political agenda, or they’re just not paying attention,” Perry said.
“What I’m going to be talking about is the future of this country, how to create the jobs to get Americans back to work and giving people real hope for the future.”
In his interview with the Des Moines Register, he attempted to distinguish himself from another Texan who ascended from the Texas governorship to the presidency – George W. Bush.
“The idea of ‘Just because you’re from Texas, you’re all alike and you’re all cut from the same cloth’ is a bit of a stretch,” Perry said. “The folks that want to make that comparison, they’ll figure out pretty quick that, ‘Hey, this guy Perry, he’s different.’”
And Perry doesn’t seem to think it’s too late for him to enter the race.
“Americans are pragmatic from the standpoint of taking their time,” Perry said.