"[Rick] truly felt like he was called to do this. We still feel called to do this," Anita Perry said Thursday during a speech at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C.
But, she said, her husband has come under fire in the GOP primary fight because of his faith, The Hill reported.
"We are being brutalized by our opponents and by our party. So much of that is, I think they look at him because of his faith," Perry said. "He is the only true conservative. Well, there are some other conservatives, and they are there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them, too. But I truly feel that we are here for that purpose."
Perry teared up when speaking about how her family sought spiritual guidance before the governor announced his candidacy to be the GOP presidential nominee, The Hill reported. She said her husband hesitated because he hadn't seen a direct sign from God.
"God was already speaking to me, but [Rick] didn't want to hear it," she said. "I said listen, you may not see the burning bush, but there are people seeing that burning bush for you. So he really took it to heart. He prayed about it."
North Greenville University, affiliated with and committed to the South Carolina Baptist Convention, is a coed liberal arts institution, the institution's Web site said.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]