Texas Gov. Rick Perry's wife, Anita Perry, spoke out Thursday about the "brutality" she perceives overshadowing the run among Republican contenders to snag the nomination as the party's 2012 presidential candidate.
Speaking before voters in South Carolina on Oct. 13, Perry said, "It's been a rough month. We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today." Her comments were recorded by NBC News.
Saying much of the aggression has stemmed from those within Perry's own party, the first lady of Texas said, "We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative - well, there are some conservatives. And they're there for good reasons."
Perry also related to voters that her husband had no intention of joining the GOP race, but that it was by "God speaking through [her]" and other people to encourage the governor to consider that he had a calling to seek the presidency that led him to finally give it serious thought.
The Texas governor sought God in prayer before deciding on whether or not he would enter the Republican run-off, and that he eventually felt "in his heart" like it was the right thing to do, Anita Perry said.
"He felt like he needed to see that burning bush," Perry said. "I said he may not see that burning bush but other people are seeing it for you... He really prayed about it, he threw that fleece out there twice (a reference to Gideon from the Bible)."
Perry also noted that although other Republican contenders might feel as if they were called into the race by God. "I truly feel like we are here for that purpose," she said.
"He truly felt like he was called to do this," she added. "We still feel called to do this... We are fighting for the soul of our country."
Gov. Perry was recently embroiled in a dust-up about his connection to Baptist minister Robert Jeffress, who officially endorsed the Texas politician during the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. last week.
Fellow conservatives and members from both sides of the aisle have been calling on Perry to emphatically denounce Jeffress and break ties with the evangelical leader for calling Mormonism a "cult" and saying former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was not a "true Christian."
According to a recent Gallup poll, Perry was in third place, with just 15 percent of GOP support. He places behind front-runner Romney, who has 20 percent, and Cain, whose campaign has blossomed in the past two weeks, garnering 18 percent of support.