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Perry talks to Fox News, Republicans in Big Apple

During his trip to New York City to make a speech to Manhattan Republicans, Gov. Rick Perry continued to stoke speculation that he may throw his hat into the GOP presidential race. During an interview on Fox News’ “Your World With Neil Cavuto,” the Fox anchor tried — as many in the media have recently – to press Perry for a definite yes or no on whether he will run. Perry replied he was thinking about a bid but tempered the immediacy to announce saying, “I am not sure you have to make a decision in a month.”

“Six weeks ago this was not on my radar screen,” said Perry, who warmed up to the idea after a “number of conversations” with people he trusted (including wife Anita) led him to give the option a second thought. When asked what might put him “over the edge” in terms of running, Perry said he would first have to weigh the physical and mental cost a White House run would place on him and his family.

While Perry admitted to not tuning into the first Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire on Monday, Perry told Cavuto he had been in a “fair share” of debates. During his reelection bid last year, Perry refused to debate Democratic challenger Bill White until White released his income tax returns. As a result, no major gubernatorial debate took place before the November election.

When Cavuto asked Perry how he responds to critics in Texas, including some tea partiers who “like” him but don’t “love” him and those that allege he says one thing and does another, Perry answered, “A prophet is generally not loved in their hometown,” channeling Jesus’ response to his rejection by the people of Nazareth.

After his interview with Cavuto, Perry briefly visited controversial Fox News commentator Glenn Beck on one of the remaining episodes of his program in what was described by the show as a “surprise cameo.” Beck’s website The Blaze shows video of Perry aiding Beck in a chalkboard drawing of the governor alongside photos of the GOP presidential hopefuls who attended the New Hampshire debate. The two then chatted about job creation in Texas and Perry invited Beck to come “add to it.” Afterward, Beck turned to the camera and said, “I have no idea who that man was. That’s not the candidate you’re looking for.” Some have argued the conservative TV personality helped derail the campaign momentum of Debra Medina, one of Perry’s Republican challengers, by posing a question about the government’s involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, for which Medina’s answer received major backlash. Beck, who initially wrote off Perry as a progressive, turned affectionate, saying, “Rick, I think you and I could French kiss right now,” after Medina’s perceived flub.

The Texas governor made the Fox News appearances before heading to the Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Dinner in New York, where he delivered the keynote speech, replacing real estate mogul Donald Trump after the billionaire exited from the presidential race. Perry heavily criticized President Obama’s economic policies and “abysmal leadership,” and condemned the administration for its “endless overreaching” – a continuation of his anti-Washington message that carried him to reelection victory in Texas last year. Omitting any mention of a possible presidential campaign, Perry focused on Texas job creation and his leadership over what he considers, “the strongest economy in this country.”

Jason Embry of the Austin American-Statesman and Rick Dunham of the Houston Chronicle each said that Perry sounded like a presidential hopeful in his NYC speech.

Boyd Richie, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, told the Texas Tribune that it is “absolutely unconscionable that we’re in the position we’re in,” referring to Perry’s role in overseeing the state’s massive budget cuts that would eliminate social safety nets out from under teachers and senior citizens. Richie noted that the state budget would lead to the first overall reduction in public education funding since the modern school finance system was created in 1949.

“The idea that we’re going to have somebody that irresponsible running for president is breathtaking,” Richie said.

While Perry continues to say that he is focused on the special session of the Legislature that he called on a variety of topics, back in Texas, lawmakers moved a so-called “sanctuary city” closer to becoming law, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Video of Perry on Cavuto:

Video of Perry’s cameo on Glenn Beck:

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