Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has been looking more and more like he's getting ready to run for president in recent months, is going to "remove any doubt" about his 2012 intentions in a South Carolina speech this week, Politico reports. "It's uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry's decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll--and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire--will send shockwaves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll," Politico writes.
Perry's speech, at a conference hosted by the conservative blog RedState, will come exactly one week after his national prayer meeting in Houston last weekend. More than 30,000 people attended the expressly Christian event (pictured above), the Los Angeles Times' Paul West reports. "The Response," as the meeting was called, was intended to ask for God's help in fixing the nation's problems. "Like all of you, I love this country deeply," Perry told the crowd. "Indeed, the only thing you love more is the living Christ." Though some groups protested the event as a mixing of church and state, Perry is probably more helped by the criticism than hurt by it. Christian conservatives are a very important demographic in the Iowa caucuses, and a string of early primaries in southern states also gives Perry an advantage.