Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) formally announced his candidacy for president at an event in South Carolina on Saturday.
In a short speech to hundreds of supporters packed in a ballroom in South Carolina, Gov. Rick Perry officially announced he is running for president.
"I will not sit back and accept the path that America is on," Perry, a Republican, said.
"It is time for Americans to believe again – to believe that the promise of our future is far greater than even the best days of our past. It is time to believe again in the potential of private enterprise, set free from the shackles of an overbearing federal government. And it is time to truly restore our standing in the world and renew our faith in freedom as the best hope of peace in a world beset with strife."
Early in the speech, Perry spoke of his upbringing in the Texas town of Paint Creek -- so small it had no zip code -- his life on the family's cotton and wheat farm and his days as a Boy Scout.
"What I learned growing up on the farm was a way of life that was centered on hard work, and on faith and on thrift," Perry said. "Those values have stuck with me my whole life."
"What makes our nation exceptional is that anyone, from any background, can climb the highest of heights. As Americans, we don't see the role of government as guaranteeing outcomes, but allowing free men and women to flourish based on their own vision, their hard work and their personal responsibility.
"And as Americans, we realize there is no taxpayer money that wasn't first earned by the sweat and toil of one of our citizens.
"That's why we reject this President's unbridled fixation on taking more money out of the wallets and pocketbooks of American families and employers and giving it to a central government."
He emphasized the need for new leadership in light of the "continued uncertainly and instability in the U.S. economy, continued overreach by an increasingly intrusive federal government into the lives of Americans."
"One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job," Perry continued. "That is not a recovery, that is an economic disaster."
He said "spreading the wealth" punishes success and sets America on a course to greater dependency on government.
"Washington's insatiable desire to spend our children's inheritance on failed 'stimulus' plans and other misguided economic theories have given us record debt and left us with far too many unemployed," Perry said.
As president, the governor said he would get the federal government's house in order, restore the country's good credit and repeal Obama's government-run health care plan.
Perry said he is also committed to education and innovation in science, technology, engineering and math to create the jobs and progress needed to get America working again.
Perry will now travel to New Hampshire and Iowa ramp up his campaign in all three early primary states.
To view the full text of Gov. Rick Perry's speech is available at: www.rickperry.org