Perry will change the race when he announces Saturday

September 8, 2011 2:54:36 PM PDT
After months of speculation and strategic moves, Texas Governor Rick Perry is less than 24 hours away from officially jumping into the race for the White House.

It's raining here in South Carolina, so you know we're not in Texas. This is actually a long way from Austin. But it's pretty close to presidential politics.

"It's political season. This is the place to announce," said Charleston resident Katherine King.

Gov. Perry is here to speak to the RedState Gathering -- a conference of grassroots conservative bloggers and activists.

"Without knowing anything, I had these made up two weeks ago," said Dan McCabe.

He brought his 'Run Rick Run' buttons all the way from Connecticut. He signed up months ago as soon as he heard Gov. Perry was speaking, and long before it was ever supposed to be what it's become.

"I am delighted. We're going to be part of history," McCabe said.

Perry will change the race when he announces Saturday here in Charleston. There is already some excitement here. But not everyone is so eager to have him get in.

Last night at the Fox News Channel debate in Iowa, the candidates were asked about Perry's entrance. No one said much. The other Texan in the race, Congressman Ron Paul, said it might be good for him. Paul said Perry represents the status quo. That won't be the message Perry is likely to deliver here on Saturday.

"I'm going to go back to this time after time. The issue Americans really care about right now is jobs. It's about how do we get America working again," Perry said.

In an interview Thursday night, Perry gave that unsurprising hint of the campaign to come, but didn't offer much more.

"We're going to have an announcement at one o'clock eastern time in South Carolina and then hop in an aircraft and come straight to New Hampshire," Perry said.

For the latest on the Republican primaries, stick with Eyewitness News and

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