Complete coverage of Texas Governor Rick Perry

Perry May Make White House Plans Clear Saturday

Other reports say announcement will come next week in Houston

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    Gov. Rick Perry is heading to New Hampshire on Saturday, and Politico says by that time he'll officially be a candidate for the White House in 2012.

    Before heading to New Hampshire, Perry will first give a speech in Charleston, S.C. It's there that Politico reports Perry will make it clear he's running for the presidency.

    Politico cites two sources familiar with Perry's plan, though does say it's unclear if the speech will include a formal declaration.

    Much of the focus Saturday remains on Iowa that day, the leadoff caucus state that's holding a straw poll that day. Should Perry announce his intention to run, the results of the straw poll will be moot because he wouldn't be included in the results.

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    A New Hampshire GOP operative said Perry will attend a house party at the home of state Rep. Pam Tucker in Greenland, N.H. The operative was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

    But three Republicans close to Perry, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose his plans, said it's all but certain the governor will run, and his schedule is intended to put to rest doubt about his bid.

    A fourth, also with links to the governor, said a formal announcement is tentatively planned for the middle of next week in Houston.

    But that Republican said Perry won't go forward with a campaign if he can't secure enough financial commitments by this weekend. The person did not say how much Perry would need to guarantee he'd run, just that big-money donors -- called bundlers -- were given the go-ahead to start getting people to pledge money.

    All four people cautioned that Perry hasn't made a final decision.

    Perry's staff refused to discuss his plans beyond issuing a statement from spokesman Mark Miner: "The governor is not a candidate for office at this time. With President Obama's dismal economic record, and Texas' success in creating jobs and balancing our budget, Gov. Perry continues to consider a potential run for the White House. Stay tuned."

    Associated Press writers April Castro and Steve Peoples contributed to this report.