ABC News’ Arlette Saenz (@arlettesaenz) reports: Hours before Perry’s official announcement, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called Texas Governor Rick Perry’s timing for his announcement “brilliant.”
“I think his timing was brilliant. I think to turn around and do this the same day you’ve got the Ames Iowa poll really just lets us all know that it’s game on time for all the candidates and I love that,” Haley said.
South Carolina is typically one of the early states in the primary process, making the outcome here pivotal to a candidate’s success.
“All of the candidates are paying attention to South Carolina,” Haley said. “It’s anybody’s game in South Carolina right now.”
Haley said it will be quite a while before she endorses any candidate but will pick someone after they’ve spoken across the state and addressed tough policy issues. The South Carolina governor offered praise for Perry, who she has worked with closely through the Republican Governors Association, but she did not offer any endorsement.
“He comes from a great state. He has a great hope for America. He wants to make the people of our country feel good again with results and I think that’s a great start. When you combine that with the other candidates, this is a magnificent field we’re looking at for 2012.”
Haley said she knew at the last RGA meeting in July that Perry would run.