Three years ago, Gov. Rick Perry kicked off his campaign for president with a speech at the national convention of RedState, an influential conservative blog.
“We don’t need a president who apologizes for America,” Perry said in Charleston, S.C. “We need a president who protects and projects those values.”
Hours earlier, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, Ted Cruz, spoke in the same room.
“In his DNA, Rick Perry is a fighter,” Cruz said. “My prediction is Rick Perry will win the nomination and in November 2012 he will defeat Barack Obama.”
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This weekend, the latest national RedState Gathering kicks off in Fort Worth amid a different political landscape. Since Perry’s 2012 presidential bid fell flat, Cruz, now a U.S. senator, has risen to national prominence, exposing a fissure in the Republican Party, one more noticeable as both Cruz and Perry are considering running for president in 2016.
Perry greeted RedStaters at a reception in the Stockyards on Thursday evening and is to give the opening speech to the gathering Friday. Cruz is to give a speech Friday evening followed by a reception at a Mexican restaurant.
Other Texas Republicans scheduled to speak during the weekend include Attorney General Greg Abbott, a candidate for governor; state Sen. Ken Paxton, who is vying to succeed Abbott as AG; and state Rep. Scott Turner, who has launched a campaign against House Speaker Joe Straus, also a Republican.