Texas Gov. Rick Perry sounded like a presidential candidate Friday, meeting with Alabama Republicans on the eve of what's expected to be his entry into the 2012 presidential race.

Perry met with GOP Gov. Robert Bentley, state officials and legislators before speaking to a Republican fundraising dinner in Birmingham on Friday night. An aide says Perry is announcing his candidacy on Saturday.

"There is still a whole world of work to be done in Washington, D.C., and we need to send truly fiscal conservatives to Washington to get it done," he said in the speech.

"The 2012 elections are truly going to determine what vision we have for this nation going forward," Perry said. "Its time to stop the downward spiral."

Legislators say Perry didn't reveal his plans, but instead talked about his view of the country and his belief in conservative leadership. And he asked them to send him text messages, so he vcould get their phone numbers in his data base.

State Sen. Arthur Orr says he believes Perry would run well in the South and Midwest and could attract moderate voters. Rep. Mike Jones says Perry is the most electable Republican candidate he's seen so far this year.

The party sold about 1,500 tickets for the event.