Braving the cold this morning to file his paperwork in person for the New Hampshire primary, Texas Gov. Rick Perry predicted he could beat front-runner Mitt Romney, saying, “I’m not just here to hang out with y’all. I’m here to win.”
Like many other baseball fans, Perry stayed up Thursday night watching the Rangers-Cardinals World Series game, but the late night did not take away from his enthusiasm this morning in Concord. “We’re set. We’re in,” Perry said after filing.
Speaking not far from North Main Street, Perry said his campaign “is certainly not a campaign of the establishment. It’s a campaign for Main Street.”
Recent polls show Perry’s popularity plummeting, but Perry said he was not concerned.
“I don’t pay a lot of attention to polls,” he said. “What I do pay attention to are people.”
After less than perfect performances in recent debates, Perry has said he might skip some of the upcoming matchups with fellow Republican candidates. When asked if he would forego all the debates, he said he did not know for sure, but “shoot, I may be a good debater” by the end of the elections.
The candidate has also received flack for questions he raised about President Obama’s birth certificate after dining with Donald Trump, who urged the president to show proof of his citizenship. Perry has since said he believes the president was born in the United States, but today he fell short of calling what he said a mistake.
“I don’t consider making fun of something being a mistake,” Perry said. “Donald Trump and I were having dinner. Look ,the president is the president. That’s the fact … I don’t think Americans see that as anything other than a distraction just like I see it as a distraction.”
Perry will this afternoon preview a new Web video at the Barley House, a restaurant across the street from the Statehouse.
Further south, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, will file her paperwork to run in South Carolina at 4 p.m.