Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Tuesday said he is giving a second thought to a presidential run but refused to set a deadline by which to make a decision.
Perry, the third-term governor and chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said that he was not considering a run for president up until six weeks ago, but that his wife and other supporters urged him to reconsider.
He said his wife and supporters are telling him, "our country is in trouble and you need to give this a second thought."
Perry's comments are some of his first since speculation reemerged that he could jump into the race.
His comments today are his clearest yet about his intentions; last month he said he was thinking about running for president, a statement that his aides quickly walked back.
Many activists in the Republican Party have pined for a dark-horse candidate to enter the field, which they believe is lackluster, in order to give the GOP a jolt of enthusiasm. Other Republican politicians who have been the object of speculation include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).
Speculation rose when a cadre of Perry's former campaign staffers recently resigned en masse from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's (R-Ga.) presidential campaign, prompting talk they could realign with Perry should he enter the race.
But Perry provided few hints of how or when he would decide.
He said that he will weigh the costs on his family before making a decision, but added, "I'm not sure that you have to make a decision in a month. It's a pretty
vast world you live [in] out there today."
Perry said he did not watch Monday night's primary debate and suggested that the performance of the Republican candidates there would have little bearing on his decision.
"I know what happens at debates, I've been in debates — I don't think there was any new ground plowed there," he said.
A conservative group with ties to Perry has already launched ads in New Hampshire promoting him as a possible presidential candidate.