Soon-to-be presidential candidate Rick Perry recently sat down with Time Magazine's Mark Halperin for a one-on-one interview. You can watch parts of the interview here:
Here are some of the highlights of what the two talked about:
- In response to a question about whether or not he plans to run for president, Perry told Halperin that he “wouldn’t be this far in the process” if he didn’t plan to run. Perry said, “the issue of, ‘is this what I want to do?’ was dealt with 45 days ago in a conversation with my wife.”
As we have previously blogged, Republican sources report Perry will formally announce his candidacy this weekend at the RedState bloggers convention in Charleston, South Carolina. KUT’s Ben Philpott will live Tweet Perry’s announcement from Charleston and report for KUT 90.5 FM and kut.org.
- In response to a question about Perry's 2008 endorsement of Rudy Giuliani and his conservative credentials in general, Perry cited similarities between his stances on crime and defense with Giuliani. And though he and Giuliani were "180 degrees" different on social issues, Perry said he was comfortable with this difference because Giuliani would have put "strict constructionists" on the Supreme Court who would allow states to decide how to handle issues like "abortion," gay marriage, and gun rights. Perry also added that if states wanted to pass an amendment to the Constitution--say banning abortion--he as president would support such amendments.
This is consistent with a statement Perry made a few weeks ago saying that he was "fine" with New York's decision to legalize gay marriage, citing 10th Amendment protections. Perry caught flack for the statement from social conservatives, including former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, it still leaves open the possibility of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which a President Perry would certainly support.
- In response to a question about whether he would campaign seriously in Democratic stronghold states—particularly California—Perry said he is a realist but thinks he has a compelling story that could make independents and even some Democrats say, “That’s the type of individual that we can get behind…to make America proud of itself again.”
If Perry does become the GOP nominee, don’t be surprised to see him invoking former Golden State Governor and President Ronald Reagan while campaigning in California and across the nation. Remember in 1980, Regan was able to use his sunny, "Morning in America" optimism to unseat a Democratic incumbent.