DALLAS - Gov. Rick Perry made it official Thursday that he's running for the Republican nomination for president.
Perry is just entering the race, but a few of his Republican opponents have already tossed a few darts his way.
At the Iowa debate Thursday night, ahead of Saturday's straw poll, Perry was called "just one more politician" and representing the "status quo." Surely, more criticism is coming.
Following an Austin interview with a New Hampshire TV station, Perry's spokesman confirmed the governor will run after assuring Texas voters last year he would not. Perry said with the country in trouble, it's no time to sit on the sideline.
"Well, I think we really have a great story to tell because this country's begging for someone to lay out a vision of hope, of real hope, and get America back working again," he said.
Perry now needs to get working in the early primary and caucus states, where questions will likely come up asking him why voters should support another Texas governor.
President George W. Bush left with some of the lowest approval ratings ever, with voters weary of "Bush fatigue." But, Perry will try to emphasize a distinction.
"Different times and different guy," he said. "What this discussion is going to be about is not which state I'm from. It's not going to be about who I may look like or who I may act like or who I may even sound like."
The campaign is about jobs, Perry said, and he's got the best record.
However, when asked about Perry's job creation record, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney noted he spent 25 years in the private sector and understands the economy.
Perry's been a politician since 1984, serving as a lawmaker and statewide office holder. But, he's learned not to let a swipe go unanswered.
"Well, I think if you just want to look at the track record of when Mitt was the governor of Massachusetts and my years being the governor of Texas, I'll let those stand on," Perry said. "Mine doesn't need any propping up, and we'll just let it stand there and let people examine it."
Perry will lay out his campaign further on Saturday in South Carolina, and then he's off to New Hampshire and Iowa.
He'll likely appear in his first presidential debate in early September.