Perry considers his 'calling' as White House race beckons

Rick Perry

Credit: KVUE

Speaking to reporters in Austin, Gov. Rick Perry said we'll soon find out if he'll be running for president.

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on July 18, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 19 at 1:03 PM

After telling an Iowa newspaper over the weekend that he's feeling more comfortable that running for president is what he's being "called" to do, Gov. Rick Perry Monday explained what he meant.

The governor hadn't taken questions from Texas reporters for several weeks about where he is in his thinking about a White House run.

After telling others out of state what he thinks of running for president, Perry addressed the question after signing a health care bill at the State Capitol.

“I am going through an appropriate thoughtful process, and you know what I think of you, and you'll be some of the first to know when I make a final decision,” the governor said.

Perry told the Des Moines Register that he'll likely decide in two to three weeks, and he's more “comfortable” that becoming a candidate is what he's been "called" to do.

But exactly who is calling?

“There are people calling from all across this country to me directly, or people that they know, saying, 'Man, we wish you would consider doing this,'” Perry said.

For years, Perry has cultivated conservative Christians who make up a critical block of voters in GOP primaries and caucus states like Iowa.

Perry said there isn't a religious overtone to this calling, but he said he is a man of faith. “So the idea, do I look for signs and do I look for good scripture that tells me how to live my life? Absolutely I do that,” he said.

As Perry gets closer to deciding, SMU political science professor Cal Jillson predicts Perry will narrow and control his message. “He's not interested in the details of Texas," Jillson said. "What he wants to do is introduce himself — on his own terms — describing his own accomplishments to potential voters nationally.”

Perry described for the news conference one point for sure. “There's a lot of different ways to be called,” he said.

Of course, Perry — or at least those backing a presidential bid — are making calls to major donors to see if he can raise the money for a White House run.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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