It’s Official: Rick Perry Is Part of the 2012 Race [Update]

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Photo: Brandon Thibodeaux/Getty Images

Texas Governor Rick Perry announced during a conference call with South Carolina voters that he'll officially be gunning for the Republican Party's presidential nomination next year, joining an already cluttered field of candidates. Back in Iowa, where they're gearing up for the Ames Straw Poll, candidates are trying to figure out what's giving them a bigger headache — official news of Perry's candidacy or brain freeze from all those Dairy Queen Blizzards Tim Pawlenty's been handing out. [AP]

Update: True to Perry's aggressive campaigning form, he's already got a campaign site set up that includes an official statement on why he's running. He opens, of course, regaling us with his experience as an Air Force pilot, and uses the word "jobs" four times in the short statement. From the site:

As governor of Texas I have led based on a few guiding principles. One, don’t spend all the money. Two, keep taxes low and under control. Three, keep regulations fair and predictable. And four, reform the legal system so frivolous lawsuits don’t paralyze employers that are trying to create jobs.

Over ten years, we have followed this recipe of fiscal restraint to produce the strongest economy in the nation. While millions of jobs have been lost over the last decade nationwide, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been added in Texas. Texas is home to one in 12 Americans, and yet since June of 2009, we have created more than four in ten American jobs.