Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced on Thursday that he will again seek the Republican nomination for president.
“We have the power to make things new again. To project American strength again, to get our economy going again,” he said during a speech in Addison, TX. “And that is why today I am running for the presidency of the United States of America.”
Standing in front of a military airplane emblazoned with “Perry for President,” the Republican hopeful emphasized his humble upbringings and his service in the Air Force.
“The values learned on my family’s cotton farm are timeless: the dignity of work, the integrity of your word, responsibility to community, the unbreakable bonds of family, and duty to country,” he said.
He was joined at his announcement by veterans like Marcus Luttrell, the subject of the book and film “Lone Survivor,” and Taya Kyle, the widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was portrayed in the film “American Sniper.”
During his remarks, Perry called the current president “a divider who has sliced and diced the electorate.”
And he slammed the Obama administration for what he called mismanagement of the war in Iraq.
“No decision has done more harm than the president’s withdrawal of American troops from Iraq,” he said. “Let no one be mistaken, leaders of both parties have made grave mistakes in Iraq. But in January, 2009 – when Barack Obama became Commander-in-Chief – Iraq had been largely pacified. America had won the war. But our president failed to secure the peace.”
Perry has aggressively campaigned in early primary states in the months leading up to his announcement, emphasizing his credentials as a military veteran and the leader of a state that posted impressive job creation numbers during his tenure as governor.
It will be Perry’s second attempt at a presidential run. He entered the race with great fanfare in 2012 but was plagued by a series of gaffes and dropped out before the South Carolina primary.
Most memorably, during a CNBC primary debate, he forgot the third of three federal agencies that he pledged to abolish, punctuating the moment with an awkward “oops.”
Backers say Perry is more prepared for a run this time and has brushed up on issues such as foreign policy. He was also plagued in 2012 by a back injury that he has said contributed to his failed campaign.