Nightly News | October 13, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: And now we turn to politics, the campaign for president and a rare moment of candor today from the spouse of a candidate for the GOP nomination. She spoke honestly and emotionally about the toll it takes to run on her and her husband, the governor of Texas , Rick Perry . She also talked about President Obama . Our report tonight from NBC 's Kelly O'Donnell .
Ms. ANITA PERRY: Hello there. How are you? Anita .
KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: A public display of the private side of Anita Perry today, exposing both her deep Christian faith ...
Offscreen Voice: Christ 's sake, amen.
Ms. PERRY: Amen.
O'DONNELL: ...and deep frustration over attacks on her husband's campaign.
Ms. PERRY: We've been brutalized by our opponents in our own party. So much of that is I think they look at him because of his faith.
O'DONNELL: At a prayer breakfast in South Carolina , where 60 percent of Republican voters say they are Christian, today Mrs. Perry wiped tears, recalling her grandfather who had been a deacon, then used biblical references to declare God revealed to her that her husband of 29 years should run for president.
Ms. PERRY: He felt like he needed to see the burning bush . I said, 'Look, let me tell you something. You may not see that burning bush , but there are people seeing that burning bush for you.'
O'DONNELL: Governor Perry 's campaign soared at first but faded after poor debate performances.
Ms. PERRY: I think the debates have been unfair. I think he's been the recipient of arrows.
O'DONNELL: Mrs. Perry 's tone took on a sharp edge later today at more secular campaign events, mocking GOP candidate Herman Cain 's 999 tax plan...
Ms. PERRY: When I hear 999, I want to call 911.
O'DONNELL: ...and the president.
Ms. PERRY: Someone said it may take 40 years to recover from President Obama . I'm like you. If we get -- if he's re-elected, I don't know that 40 years is going to be enough.
O'DONNELL: Although Anita Perry has been first lady longer than anyone in Texas history , that public life has apparently not made the scrutiny and strain any easier seeing her husband run for president. Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News, Washington.