Texas Gov. Rick Perry will signal that he's running for president this Saturday in South Carolina, a source close to the campaign confirmed to National Journal. But he is not expected to formally announce his bid.
Perry's camp would neither confirm nor deny the reports, which spread quickly Monday afternoon after Politico first reported that Perry is likely to use an appearance in the Palmetto State -- which hosts one of the key early presidential contests -- to edge closer toward a declaration.
"Stay tuned," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said in an e-mail. While he said that Perry is "not a candidate for office at this time," he seized the opportunity to suggest why he might become one.
"With President Obama's dismal economic record and Texas's success in creating jobs and balancing our budget, Governor Perry continues to consider a potential run," Miner wrote.
Perry’s interest in running for president isn’t a surprise: He and his advisers have made it clear for weeks that the governor was close to declaring his candidacy.
But the timing is intriguing: It puts Perry in position to steal thunder from many of his potential rivals, who will be competing on Saturday in a Republican straw poll in Iowa.
Perry is set to make his remarks at the RedState Gathering, a collection of Republican activists organized by conservative blogger Erick Erickson.
Adding to the sense of a campaign rollout in the making: The Texas governor, expected to be among the party’s most formidable contenders should he run, will attend an event later Saturday in New Hampshire. New Hampshire and South Carolina are key presidential battlegrounds because they hold the nation's two earliest presidential primaries, following the Iowa caucuses.