ABC News's Arlette Saenz (@arlettesaenz) reports:
After comments last weekend that he feels “called” to run, speculation over Rick Perry’s potential 2012 bid continues to rise, and the Texas governor is making steps suggest he’s inching closer to a run.
Perry was in California Wednesday meeting with business leaders who could become potential donors in the future. This comes a day after Perry met with a group of donors in Austin to assess whether or not he could raise the necessary cash to carry him through a presidential election. The Wall Street Journal reported potential bundlers are eying a fundraising goal of $10 million in the opening months of his campaign.
As Perry evaluates his funding situation, he keeps rising in the polls. A new WSJ-NBC poll out yesterday had him with 11 percent of the vote, behind only Romney (23 percent) and Bachmann (16 percent).
The Texas governor said his wife, Anita, is pushing him to run on the national level, telling him to “get out of your comfort zone.” Perry also indicated he would have no interest in the V.P. slot.
But Perry also walked back his comments about being “called” saying he meant it in a more general sense.
“There’s a lot of different ways to be called. My mother may call me for dinner, you know, my friends may call me for something,” Perry said.
Last week, Perry partook in a foreign policy and national security briefing with national security experts Doug Feith, who served as undersecretary of defense for the George W. Bush Administration and William Luti, who was a special assistant to George W. Bush and served on the National Security Council, last week. Perry’s team reached out to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for advice on which foreign policy experts he should meet with.
Along with the dive into foreign policy discussion, Perry has touted Texas’ economic accomplishments this week as well. On Monday, he joined EA Sports in announcing the company will expand their operations in Texas, adding 300 more jobs to the Lone Star State.
Many consider Perry’s economic accomplishments in Texas to be a major selling point for his potential campaign. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said this week he believes Perry will jump in the race and can point to his economic record.
“He should run. I think he will run,” Cornyn said Wednesday on the Laura Ingraham show. “He’s got great political instincts and he’s got a great record to run on.”
And Perry already has supporters waiting in the wings and laying the groundwork for a potential run. The Iowa branch of Americans for Rick Perry is boosting efforts to spread information about his accomplishments in Texas and strengthen his name recognition in the Hawkeye State. They attempted to purchase a spot for Perry at the Ames Iowa Straw Poll, but the Iowa GOP turned down the efforts. The Iowa GOP will meet on Saturday to determine the final ballot for the Aug. 13 poll, and Perry’s name could be on it, even if he has not declared by then.