Washington (CNN)A fired up Rick Perry addressed a gathering of conservatives on Thursday night, lamenting the direction of the country under President Barack Obama's leadership.
Perry recruiting major donors for 2016 run
Perry, who two weeks ago wrapped up a 14-year tenure as Texas governor, ran the gamut of problems he said face the United States, raising concerns about the U.S. economy and American foreign policy under the current administration.
But Perry, who is considering launching his second presidential campaign, offered some hope, saying the next two years would be "about hope and revival."
"There is nothing wrong in America that cant be changed by a change in leadership," Perry said at the American Principle Project's annual gala.
That change in leadership, the former governor said, shouldn't come from Washington.
"I'm kind of skeptical that an agent of change can come from Washington," Perry said. "America is looking for a new path forward, and beginning today, let's give it to them."
Perry is not the first of current and former governors considering the presidency to suggest the country would best be served by a governor -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said a governor should be the next president the same day, at an event hosted by the same organization.
Gearing up for his all-but-certain presidential campaign, Perry was slated to announce more than 80 donors Thursday that will support his political action committee and potential campaign.
Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, has quietly been gathering support from around the country to mount a second run for the White House.
"It's very encouraging and exciting that so many influential leaders in this country are signing on to assist the Governor spread his positive vision of conservative values around the country," said Jeff Miller, Perry's chief political adviser.
As he neared the end of his stint leading the Lone Star State in December, Perry hosted supporters, political activists, and potential donors for elegant lunches and dinners at the governor's mansion. After playing a video recounting his successes, he spoke -- making a potential pitch -- about his time in Austin and vision for conservative leadership in America.
The Washington Post first reported the upcoming donor announcement. It comes as other potential 2016 candidates are beginning to hire staff and collect big donors to help finance campaigns.
In his own backyard, Perry will have to compete for money with the likes of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (brother of former Texas Governor and President George W. and son of President George H.W.), Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who last week recruited Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri as an adviser.
Perry ran for president in 2012 but was unsuccessful after his late entry and some political gaffes throughout the campaign.
This time around, he's set to compete with a stronger, more disciplined operation. He's taking in policy briefings, working with speech coaches, and hiring seasoned staff to for a run.
Perry has also been appearing and scheduling to appear at many of the high-profile candidate events, like the Iowa Freedom Summit last month, where he made spoke openly about a White House run.
"After six years of disappointment of mediocrity and decline a slow course correction is NOT what voters are going to be looking for in 2016," Perry said. "Now I might surprise a few of you here today, but I've been thinking a little about 2016. After six years of the most divisive president in our modern history I believe Americans are looking for leaders who will bring the country back together."