U.S. Republican Rick Perry to drop strong 2012 hint

WASHINGTON – Rick Perry will signal plans to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination at an event in South Carolina on Saturday, Republicans familiar with the plans said on Monday.

The Texas governor’s appearance at a conservative conference coincides with a straw poll of Republican candidates in Iowa and his remarks could steal some of the thunder from his rivals competing in that event.

Two Republicans familiar with his plan said Perry would stop short of making a presidential announcement on Saturday but would drop a strong hint in remarks to a conservative conference sponsored by RedState.com in Charleston.