Is Rick Perry Running? ‘Absolutely,’ Says Texas Monthly Editor

By Eliza

Jul 15, 2011 1:56pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein (@rickklein) reports:

Look for another entry into the Republican field: Texas Gov. Rick Perry is poised to jump into the race for the presidency in the coming weeks, Texas Monthly senior executive editor Paul Burka told us on ABC’s “Top Line” today.

“Absolutely. He's running,” Burka said. “He's been talking about it with his family — his family's behind him. His friends are behind him. And I really think this something that came — that started in 2010 when he was running for reelection as governor. He's been thinking about this for a long time.”

Burka said Perry is eyeing an announcement around the time of his August 6 day of prayer event in Houston. That timing also closely coincides with the Ames Straw Poll the following weekend in Iowa.

Until then, Perry has put the pieces in place he’ll need to run – writing a book, delivering policy speeches, doing targeted national media appearances, and establishing an agenda in Texas “that mattered to Republican voters.”

“Instead of doing things that Texas government usually does, which is health care, law enforcement, schools, we dealt with these hot-button Republican issues during the session,” Burka said.

To prepare the national media for a Perry campaign, Burka has written a column – titled “Dear Yankee” – outlining some things out-of-town reporters should know about the longest-serving governmor in the nation. 

“One of the important things to know is that Perry was a ‘yell leader’ at Texas A&M,” Burka told us. “What you will see when he comes out is, that this is very much a part of his persona. He knows how to fire up a crowd. The Republican field has been lacking in excitement — we hear that time and again. Well, one way or another, Rick Perry is going to give them excitement.”

“He is ideologically consistent. He almost never varies from the position of strong conservative — much more conservative than any other politician that I can think of that Texas has produced on a national scale. Much more so than George W. Bush, for example.”

Watch the “Top Line” interview with Paul Burka HERE.

Also today, we checked in with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, the host of “This Week,” about President Obama’s attempt to take his case for the debt ceiling and addressing the deficit to the public. Watch that segment HERE.

And for our “Top Line” Top Tweet contest, we asked viewers to draw political conclusions from Democrats’ resounding 8-2 victory over Republicans at last night’s annual congressional baseball game. 

Our winner was @adimike55, who has a new contest in mind for fans to enjoy at Nationals Park: “Forget the Big Head Presidents Races, Bring on the Big Head Politicians. (Will Teddy ever win?)” 

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