Texas First Lady Anita Perry says that her husband is being persecuted by the media and the Republican establishment "because of his faith."

"It's been a rough month," Anita Perry told supporters at North Greenville University Thursday. "We've been brutalized, eaten up and chewed up in the press."

"After Rick had won being elected for the governorship for the third time in Texas, there was a nagging, a pulling at my heart for him to run for president," she recalled. "You know what we have no leadership in Washington. We have nobody to guide our country... God was already speaking to me, but he didn't want to hear it... 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 who see that burning bush for you."

Anita Perry continued: "So he truly felt like he was called to do this. We still feel called to do this. We are being brutalized by our opponents in our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him because of his faith."

"Someone came up to Rick and handed him a scripture and said, 'Rick, I want to tell you, God is testing you right now. God is testing you because he wants you to know when you are in the White House, how you got there."

Watch this video from NBC News, broadcast Oct. 13, 2011.

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Photo: The State of Texas/Office of the Governor

(H/T: MSNBC First Read)