Claiming that none of the seven GOP presidential candidates that debated in New Hampshire Monday night or any of the other likely entrants can unite the Republican Party and beat President Obama, a forceful group of Arkansas conservatives has called on Texas Gov. Rick Perry to enter the race. [See a slide show of GOP 2012 contenders.]
"As Republicans, we need to stand fast and insist that our standard-bearer in the 2012 presidential race not only make the case against four more years of Barack Obama in the White House, but also is someone who has a vision of hope and prosperity that will help every American to succeed. Of the current slate of Republican candidates, both announced and those currently exploring, we do not believe there is one who can better unify our party and take the fight to the Democrats on their old, outdated ideas," said the 20 Arkansas House Republicans in a letter to Perry and provided to our Suzi Parker in Little Rock. [Check out political cartoons about the 2012 GOP field.]
"Gov. Perry, your country needs you now. We stand ready to support you and ask that you become a candidate to be our nation's next president," they added.
Being a neighbor of Texas, Arkansas Republicans have been impressed with Perry's anti-Washington bent, his conservatism, the surge in job creation in the Lone Star state and his ability to keep the state financially secure through spending cuts, not tax increases.
"We, the undersigned encourage your run for the White House and stand ready to assist you in any way necessary," the 20 wrote.
Perry is mulling a bid and is getting daily calls of encouragement. He had previously ruled out a bid, but the lackluster embrace by voters of the current front runners has Perry rethinking a bid.