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.”
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.