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Rick Perry close to 2012 presidential announcement after ‘The Response’ draws 20,000 in Houston

Texas Gov. Rick Perry continued to weigh an entry into the Republican primary for the 2012 presidential election, and some supporters said they are expecting an announcement within the next 10n days. As Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza reported:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is expected to announce his presidential plans shortly after the Ames Straw Poll this coming weekend, and his supporters are already soliciting contributions for the campaign, according to an e-mail from a Perry supporter.

The e-mail from Gene Powell, a real-estate executive who Perry appointed to the University of Texas board of regents, states, “We expect that announcement in a week to ten days” and tells people to start writing checks today.

It is further evidence that Perry is truly ramping up for a 2012 presidential campaign, even though a top Perry adviser says the e-mail’s timeframe isn’t hard and fast.

Perry adviser David Carney told The Fix that the no one should read too much into the e-mail, which he says contains some factual inaccuracies.

“While we are encouraged by this enthusiasm, we have not made the final decision, as even this email indicates,” Carney wrote in an e-mail, “and there are some other items in that email that are incorrect, but it just goes to demonstrate how excited some of our folks are.”

Carney said the timeframe for the possible campaign continues to be “this summer with Labor Day as the outlier.”

The e-mail from Powell, which was obtained by The Fix, says the first San Antonio fundraiser will occur Sept. 1 — which would be before Labor Day — and that checks should be made out to the “Perry For President Campaign.”

This news follows Perry’s long-awaited prayer event called ‘The Response’ in Houston where he led 20,000 Christians in a day-long revival. As Perry Bacon Jr. explained :

Texas Gov. and possible Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry led a crowd of more than 20,000 Christians Saturday, asking God to help a nation he calls “in crisis,” at a Christian-revival event he organized.

In the football stadium where the Houston Texans play, Christians from the state and around the country gathered for an all-day event called “The Response.” It resembled a service at a very large evangelical mega church but without a formal sermon.

Invoking a passage from the Old Testament’s Book of Joel that he said inspired him to organize this event, Perry read: “You call us to repent Lord, and this day is our response.”

Perry, who is expected to announce in the next few weeks whether he will run for the GOP nomination, said nothing about his presidential prospects.

But political strategists say the event, his biggest appearance so far on the national political stage, is likely to impact his candidacy. It could strengthen his ties to evangelicals, a powerful bloc in the Republican Party, but also turn off more secular voters.

In remarks that lasted about 11 minutes, Perry read passages from Ephesians, Isaiah and Joel. He invoked the familiar Christian phrase “blow the trumpet in Zion” to loud applause from the crowd.

“Like all of you, I love this country deeply,” he said at the start of his remarks. “Thank you all for being here. The only thing that you love more is the living Christ.”

August is likely to shake up the 2012 Republican presidential field. As Dan Balz reported:

The contest for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, until now a sleepy, shapeless and uninspired affair punctuated by comedic interludes, turns serious this month. A debate, a straw poll in Iowa and the possible entry into the race of Texas Gov. Rick Perry are likely to make the coming weeks the most consequential yet in the campaign.

By the end of August, more will be known about almost every aspect of the race, including the identity of the politician best positioned to challenge the front-runner, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the staying power of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and the likely final makeup of the field.

The Republican candidates have been overshadowed for most of the summer by the tense debt-ceiling debate in Washington, fears of a U.S. default and growing worries about the U.S. and global economies. Now, with the first votes in the nomination battle less than six months away, the candidates will feel growing pressure not only to demonstrate their vote-getting appeal but also to spell out how they would grapple with the huge problems the next president will face.

“We are fast approaching act two of the primary cycle,” said Todd Harris, a GOP strategist not currently aligned with any candidate. “The next couple weeks will be revealing in terms of who has what it takes to have a second act and who doesn’t.”

More from The Washington Post

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Perry’s positive ‘Response’

Rick Perry, faith and the public square

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