Perry says campaign would concentrate on jobs

Posted Saturday, Jul. 30, 2011  comments  Print Reprints

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Tracking the actions and travels of Gov. Rick Perry as he ponders joining the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Perry has said he will announce his decision within three weeks.

On the hot seat

Perry is still not officially a candidate, but he continues acting like one and is being treated like one. Attention is focused on his staunch conservative stance on social issues in advance of Saturday's national prayer rally that Perry is helping host in Houston's Reliant Stadium.

In a telephone interview Saturday with an Associated Press reporter in the key early battleground state of South Carolina, the governor said he supports a federal limit on gay marriage and thinks a Creator put life on earth. He also said that if he does run, his campaign will concentrate on jobs, not evolution or gay marriage. "The issue that is most important and most on people's minds is jobs," Perry said.

On the trail

Perry was a keynote speaker Friday in Denver at the Western Conservative Summit, which is having a straw poll, with results scheduled to be released today. His next major appearance is Saturday's prayer rally. After that, he is scheduled to make appearances in Birmingham, Ala., on Aug. 12 and in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 13.

What the polls say

In a national survey of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, the Pew Research Center placed Perry in second place with 12 percent support. Mitt Romney led with 21 percent. Among Republicans giving a lot of attention to the election, Perry beat out Romney, drawing 22 percent. The poll was conducted July 21-24. The margins of error ranged from 3.5 to 7.5 percentage points depending on the portion of the poll.

Perry ranks as the preferred pick among Southern Republicans, according to a Gallup Poll conducted June 20-24. Perry drew 22 percent in the South, well ahead of Sarah Palin and Romney, who drew 13 and 12 percent, respectively. Romney was the top draw in the East, Midwest and West. Texas congressman Ron Paul's best showing was in the West, where he tied Perry with 10 percent. The poll had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

A few state-specific polls also came out last week.

Perry led all contenders in Florida, according to an American Research Group poll conducted July 18-24. With 16 percent support, Perry essentially tied with Michele Bachmann and Romney, both at 15 percent. The telephone poll had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Pushing for Perry

One of Perry's longtime supporters has been named national finance chairman of Americans for Rick Perry, an independent organization that is pushing a Perry candidacy. Nate Crain, a Dallas technology entrepreneur who has known Perry since the early 1990s, said one of his first objectives is the Perry write-in campaign on the Iowa straw poll ballot. Crain has also started a volunteer effort to work on Perry's behalf if (though most people say it's more a matter of when) Perry jumps into the race.

"There's going to be tons of support both volunteer and financial," Crain said.

-- John Gravois, Dave Montgomery and Aman Batheja

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