ABC News' Arlette Saenz (@arlettesaenz) reports:
Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has done little national press, spoke with TIME's Mark Halperin for the first time about his final decision on running for president in 2012.
“I went from ‘No, got the best job in America’ to today being fully engaged in this process of making a decision. The issue of ‘Is this what I want to do?’ was dealt with about 45 days ago in a conversation with my wife. Prior to that, no, being the President of the United States was not on my radar screen from the stand point of something I want to do,” Perry said in the interview.
“I’m kind of getting into the all-in point and the idea that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is starting to get to that comfort level. I’ve got the calmness in my heart. I think that was a bit of a hurdle initially. But you know, I’m very calm in my heart that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Perry, who assumed the Texas governorship after George W. Bush became president, said he reached out to Bush for advice in early July.
“Actually I called him on his birthday on July the sixth to wish him a happy birthday. He said – you’ll do what’s right. You don’t want to wake up when you’re 70 and go ‘I wish I would have tried that. I wish I had done that.”
There have long been rumors about contention between the Perry and Bush camps, but Perry said there is no bad blood between the two Texas governors.
"Not from my perspective, and certainly not between George W. Bush and me. And frankly, his dad, I mean, I got great respect for them. And the President 43 and I have a very good, personal, warm relationship. If there are people that were on his team in the past that haven’t agreed [with me] on policy or picked a different horse in a political race… Look back over my political career. If I chastised and removed everyone who’s been on the other side of me in a political race, I wouldn’t have any friends or helpers."
Perry said he is not intimidated by any part of running for president and believes he will be successful in fundraising enough money to challenge President Obama.