Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined the 2012 GOP race for president Saturday with an announcement sure to reverberate halfway across the country as his rivals competed in Iowa for the support of party activists.

“I full well believe I’m going to win,” Perry told South Carolina voters on a conference call about an hour before he planned to kick off the campaign with a speech in Charleston.

In a posting on his new campaign website explaining why he wanted to take on President Barack Obama, Perry contended that “America’s place in the world is in peril, not only because of disastrous economic policies, but from the incoherent muddle known as our foreign policy.”

Americans, he said, “will not sit back and accept our current misery.” He said “a great country requires a better direction” and “a renewed nation requires a new president.”

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