Rick Perry launches second bid for US president
Updated: 2015-06-05 09:40
Republican presidential candidate and former Texas Governor Rick Perry formally announces his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president at an event in Addison, Texas, June 4, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
ADDISON - Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry opened his second bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination Thursday, pledging to "end an era of failed leadership" and hoping this campaign will go better than his last one.
The longest-serving governor in Texas history when he left office in January, Perry made his announcement inside a steamy hangar at an airfield outside Dallas, in the company of fellow veterans and a hulking cargo plane like the one he flew for the Air Force.
He enters a crowded Republican field, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, considered the front-runner in a race in which the winner will likely face Democratic former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Perry vowed to help the country rise above its slow economic recovery. During Perry's last seven years in office, Texas created 1.5 million new jobs.
"I have been tested," Perry said. "I have led the most successful state in America."
In a nod to the conservative, anti-tax tea party arm of the party, he said: "Our rights come from God, not from government."
This time, Perry is a decided underdog who has been visiting early voting states for months, hoping to convince voters he deserves another chance.
In 2012, he announced late, surged in the polls but wilted amid a series of gaffes. He's still trying to live down the "oops" he sheepishly uttered in a brain-freeze moment during a debate in the 2012 race when he forgot one of the federal agencies he'd vowed to close as president.
Perry was a ferocious fundraiser before, but his coffers could be hurt this time by two felony indictments he's facing in Austin.