Rick Perry’s Use of Religion Shows the Little Devil in Him

Bookmark and Share    Texas Governor Rick Perry finds himself struggling to stay above water in the wake of several bad debate performances.  While the debates have helped Newt Gingrich, they have completely devastated Perry.  And in his struggle to recover, he has tried just about everything.  He was one of the first candidates to start running televised commercials in Iowa.  He has tried to present several bold proposals, including a 20% flat plan that has some merit.  He has even run with some self-deprecating humor that poked fun at his own debate performances. 

Now, as Perry’s campaign continues to run on a wing and a prayer, Perry is turning to religion an ambiguously injecting it in to the race in a devious way.

In a recent thirty second television commercial [see the video below], a confident, well spoken, Rick Perry looks in to the camera and says;

“When you run for president, you get a bunch of questions about your faith.  People want to know what drives you, how you make decisions. Now, some liberals say that faith is a sign of weakness. Well, they’re wrong. I think we all need God’s help. America’s greatest leaders have been people of strong faith, strong values. That makes for a strong America. I’m Rick Perry. I’m not ashamed to talk about my faith.”

The spot is actually quite good and it strikes a chord with the very voters that one needs to win over if they want to win the Iowa Caucus………evangelicals.

Evangelicals make up the bulk of the activist Republican base in Iowa.  They are the people who do the convincing of their neighbors, organizing of the voters, and mobilizing of the vote.  And this time around in Iowa, the evangelical vote is split.  Until recently, Herman Cain had been winning many of them over, but he was still sharing much of the evangelical vote with Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, as well as Rick Perry and even Newt Gingrich.  While others like Ron Paul, and Mit Romney are getting their share of that vote, the bulk was going to others previously mentioned.  And it is that division of the evangelical vote that may allow Mitt Romney to win the Iowa Caucus.

Which brings us back to Rick Perry’s new ad.

While the ad will strike a very favorable chord with evangelical voters, it is also subtly raising and questi0ning Mitt Romney’s faith

As a Mormon, Romney has been the victim of great prejudice, ironically, by some of the most religious voters. 

Many evangelical Christians, question Romney’s ability to lead because they believe that his Mormon faith is unchristian and some even consider it to be a cult. 

Rick Perry already caught some flak  for this type of prejudice after  Southern Baptist Convention leader Robert Jeffress endorsed him and then proceeded to tell reporters  that Mormonism is a “cult” and that voting for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would “give credibility to a cult”.

For this, Perry was asked by many to reject Jeffress and his endorsement, or at least distance him from that view.  Perry’s campaign did release a statement that read, “The governor does not believe Mormonism is a cult. He is not in the business of judging people. That’s God’s job.”  

Now Rick Perry is doing a job with God by bringing religion back in to play.

He does so in a way that people of faith and those who respect faith and religion, can appreciate. But the last line of the ad would seem to be aimed less at attracting God-fearing voters and more at having them give Mitt Romney the cold shoulder.  When Perry states, “I’m not ashamed to talk about my faith”, it puts Mitt Romney in awkward position.

While Mitt is not ashamed of his religion, given the prejudices that still exist towards Mormons, Romney does not try to highlight religion.  But Perry’s line would seem to challenge Mitt Romney to start doing so and it is designed to make evangelicals wonder why Mitt does not interject more references to his faith in the election.  At the very least, the line makes those Christians who have doubts about Romeny and Mormons, to wonder why Romney does’nt talk about his faith, and then conclude that it is because Mormonism is not a good thing.

Whether this strategy will help Rick Perry get a big enough share of the evangelical vote in Iowa to win their Caucus, is doubtful.  Perry is so far down in the polls that he really will need to turn to religion and pray for a miracle to turn things around for him.  But even if his play on anti-Mormon sentiments doesn’t win him enough votes to win the Caucus, it could help suppress Romney’s numbers enough to allow someone other than Mitt to win.  At this juncture in time, that would be enough to buy Rick Perry a little more time to get back on track.  

So long as Mitt does not win in Iowa, the Republican nomination contest remains competitive and allows the focus to move to South, where Perry is his strongest.

In his thirty second ad, Rick Perry may not mention Mitt Romney or Mormons in any way, but in what is a well a crafted script that defends religion, Rick Perry is showing the little devil in him by slyly revealing one of Mitt Romney’s Achilles heals his religion.  The saddest part of it is that after electing our nation’s first President of color, you would think that we have broken the barriers of prejudice in America.  Maybe we have, but based upon the thinking behind the Perry strategy,  it is obvious to me that we still  have a long way to go.

On a final note  this ad, yet again, demonstrates  how great a candidate Rick Perry can be…………….when scripted.

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New Poll Shows Perry Has Lots of Work To Do

Bookmark and Share    A new poll of New Hampshire Republicans by Suffolk University has begun to raise doubt about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s electability outside of the South. According to the poll, Romney leads Perry by 33 points. Even more depressing for the Perry camp is that not only is the gap between him and Romney so wide, but he also trails behind Texas Congressman Ron Paul and even former Ambassador and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. According to the results, Romney takes 41 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul garners 14 percent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finishes third with 10 percent, followed by Perry with eight percent, Sarah Palin who is not even an official candidate at 6%; Michele Bachmann 5%; Newt Gingrich at 4%; and Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer at or around 1%.

Perry’s fourth place showing in New Hampshire according to one poll which is not among any of the four that are typically used to gauge how a candidate is doing, is certainly not a sign that things are over for Perry, not even in New Hampshire. But it does suggest that Perry has a lot of work to do outside of the delegate rich South.

Between January and April 24th of 2012, 351 delegates are up for grabs from within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states alone. In that same time period, Midwest and upper-Midwest states will have 238 delegates in play. This means that unless Perry locks up the nomination with substantial early wins in at least South Carolina and Florida, followed by substantial victories in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota which are scheduled to hold their contests on the same day in February, than Mitt Romney can assure Rick Perry a long and drawn out battle that Romney could easily win.

Currently, while Perry’s strength lies in the South, Southwest and possibly even places like Iowa, Romney has a leg up on Perry in the Northeast, upper Midwest and West. For Mitt, states, like Michigan, which he won in 2008, and Wisconsin and Minnesota are strong territory for him. In the Northeast, states like new York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and others, make it the region that is strongest for him.

And then there is of course California, which is a winner-take-all contest that is closed to only registered Republicans. A win there in early February will earn the victor 172 delegates. That is equal to the number of delegates in play in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida combined.

What this means is that Rick Perry will need to quickly show some strength outside of Iowa and the South. New Hampshire would be the perfect place for him to do that. But asking Perry to win New Hampshire over Mitt Romney is like expecting Mitt Romney to defeat Rick Perry in Texas……..it ain’t gonna happen.

Still, coming in behind both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman is embarrassing for a so-called frontrunner. So Perry is going to have to work at New Hampshire. Even though a Southern strategy that would have him win the early states of South Carolina and then Florida can work, being blown out in New Hampshire will not allow Mitt Romney to stay in the game and survive until the states favorable to him allocate their delegates. At the same time, it must be realized that the earlier we decide who the Republican nominee is, the better it will be for the Party.

Until we have a nominee, the contenders will be beating up on each other. A protracted nomination contest will therefore only help to weaken the nominee up for President Obama to beat on. But a contest that wraps up the nomination decisively and early will allow everyone to focus on beating up on President Obama. As such, having a frontrunner for the Republican nomination blown out in New Hampshire, does not help anyone…..accept for Mitt Romney. Therefore if Perry wants to have any chance of securing the nomination early on in the process, he is going to have to do better in New Hampshire and demonstrate to voters that he can get votes outside of the South.

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Perry Calls Obama “President Zero” and Romney Calls Perry “Governor Sub-Zero” in Response

Bookmark and Share    Ahead of Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Florida and the second debate appearance for Rick Perry, the Texas Governor has released a new a ad entitled “Rick Perry – Proven Leadership”[see ad below this post]. In it Governor Perry hammers President Obama on his economic record.

With depictions of barren land, boarded up homes, empty factories, and desolate scenes of decrepit urban ruin, Perry’s ad tags Obama as “President Zero”, a reference to his creating “zero“ jobs since he has been in office. But after the first half of the ad, a more optimistic tone is set with images of a happier, more pleasant America that include horses galloping through the surf , sun drenched cities, American flags, the statue of liberty, and happy factory workers shaking Perry’s hands. Perry’s point is driven home as you hear him describe the type of leadership that will lead to a thriving America as opposed to the ailing America that President Obama’s leadership has created.

The ad is somewhat reminiscent of the dramatic, quick cutting imagery, and shaky shots done at angles, with jagged audio cuts, and a booming motion picture-like soundtrack that became a staple of Tim Pawlenty’s web ads that he ran during his short-lived presidential campaign. And that is for good reason. It was produced by Lucas Baiano, a 23-year-old video prodigy who was once the director of visual media and film for The Republican Party.  Baino also did ads for the Republican Governors Association and in 2008 he  cut some spots for Hillary Clinton.

When Tim Pawlenty closed shop, Bainao was scooped up by Perry’s campaign earlier this month.

Lucas Baino

For his part, Mitt Romney, the man who is seen as Perry’s biggest rival (or vise versa depending on which side you’re on) issued a press release entitled “Governor Sub-Zero,”in response to Perry’s “President Zero”. In the release, Romney’s campaign alleges that that while the US economy produced zero net jobs in August, Texas produced even less. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul added

In his campaign’s latest video, Governor Perry criticizes President Obama for an economy that added zero jobs in August, yet Texas added even fewer and has over a million people unemployed,”

While Romney’s distortion is less accurate than the exaggerations of Perry’s ad, attacking Perry’s record right now is a political necessity. Perry’s three terms as Governor of Texas have outshined the accomplishments of Romney’s one term as Governor of Massachusetts. However, the better strategy for Romney might be to play Perry up as the career politician and himself up as a successful entrepreneur who understands how government works, or in most cases, doesn’t work. But in order for such a strategy to fly, Romney needs to exhibit anti-establishment positions and make bold proposals that don’t just tinker with out arcane tax code, but instead scrap it and do things like create a flat tax. In order for Romney.

Meanwhile, Perry’s ad effectively sets a tone and while it says more about President Obama than himself, it is a good indication that Perry’s campaign does know the issue that can get him votes.

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Set to Endorse Rick Perry for President

Bookmark and Share   On a day that began with what seemed to be big news about Tim Pawlenty endorsing Mitt Romney for President, Texas Governor Rick Perryquickly moved to bury that story by allowing sources to leak the pending endorsement of him by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Sources state that the announcement will be made before this evenings TEA Party/CNN Republican presidential debate in Florida. The same sources state that Jindal will be attending the debate as a guest of Governor Perry.

The news quickly stepped allover Tim Pawlenty’s  endorsement of Mitt Romney. Romney had been getting some mileage out of having a formal rival for the nomination who was a popular Governor, suddenly throw his support behind him. But the news that Jindal, a popular incumbent Governor was throwing his considerable clout behind Perry quickly changed the story of the day. But beyond today, Jindal’s endorsement will still have much more weight than does Pawlenty’s.

While Pawlenty dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination contest because of a lack of popular support, Bobby Jindal turned down a run for President that did have popular support. Instead, Jindal is seeking reelection to his second term as Governor of Louisiana. More important still is the fact that as a sitting Governor, Jindal has the influence and control over the state Party apparatus that can help sway the outcome of a statewide Republican primary. This is especially the case when it comes to the all important Get Out the Vote Operation.

Jindal’s endorsement also could be a signal of a solid South that lines up behind Perry.

While Pawlenty’s endorsement of Romney does little for any regional strength to the Romney camp, Jindal’s endorsement of Perry has a great deal of influence in the South. Particularly with neighboring states such as Mississippi and Arkansas. It will even have a positive effect on the all important nearby state of Florida.

The Jindal endorsement should not come as a surprise. In the past, the Louisiana Governor has had nothing but praise for his neighboring Governor. Jindal has particularly commended him for always being a friend for Louisiana to count on during the slew of natural disasters that Louisianans has had to deal with. The real surprise would have been if Bobby Jindal didn’t endorse Perry. But as with al things, timing is critical and in this case, Perry’s timing was impeccable.

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Can Perry Win by Describing Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme? Ron Johnson Did? What Do You Think? Take the White House 2012 Poll

Since last week’s G.O.P. presidentia debatem the first one which Texas Governor Rick perry participated in, there has been

consternation about his calling Social Security as a “Ponzi Scheme”. The description even compelled Mitt Romney to declare victory in the debate and to suggest that Parry all but lost the presidential nomination.

The truth though is that an important part of Perry’s Ponzi Scheme description seems to be constantly left out by his critics. That part is where Rick Perry states that is a Ponzi Scheme for future generations. On that he is right. Furthermore; Perry points out that his desire to reform Social Security does not change it for those who are already being funded and for whom the funds exists. The same goes for those who expect to be on it in the relatively near future. His changes are directed for future generations for which the money will not be there to fund under the current system.

Nonetheless, the truth Perry speaks about the “future” of Social Security has been controversial. Fir that reason, this week, White House 2012 asks readers if it is possible for Governor Perry to win the nomination with his opinion of Social Security. To participate in the poll click here or just vote in the poll question box in the top portion of the column to the right of this blog.

As to the question itself, whether Perry’s view of Social Security is risky or not, it should be understood that despite the issue being a political third rail that the left electrifies with propaganda designed to scare senior citizens, it is possible to address the issue of Social Security reform in a campaign and still get elected.

In the recent 2010 midterm elections, underdog Republican businessman Ron Johnson successfully defeated once heavily favored liberal Senator Russ Feingold.

After a hard fought campaign in which the issue of Social Security was often raised, Johnson and the left once again tried to use their Social security scare tactics. Johnson, who like Rick Perry had once referred to Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme, put out the following ad.

Ron Johnson a, is now Senator Johnson and Russ Feingold is now a shocked and angry former Senator.

So don’t write off Rick Perry.  If he plays his cards right and deals with the issue of Social Security reform properly, his Ponzi Scheme definition could help him.

A Two Horse Race

Bookmark and ShareWith the 3rd major Republican primary debate in the books there are 2 candidates whom have begun to distance themselves from the pack. Mitt Romney looked and sounded presidential as he took shots from and at the man who has unseated him as the early polling frontrunner, Texas governor Rick Perry. Perry was the self described ‘pinata’ as he wore the target as the newest candidate and he did not disappoint, handling well the shots coming at him as well as throwing some shots towards his main opponent.

There were other candidates on the stage but the debate quickly became the Romney/Perry show.

Rick Santorum didn’t do anything to hurt himself but certainly didn’t help himself either. He looked as if he were either miffed that the debate was becoming about the 2 top candidates or that he had just sucked on a lemon. Newt, always the smartest guy in the room, had some good answers but again went after the record of the media instead of the records of his opponents. Michelle Bachmann didn’t have the opportunity that she did in the first two debates to showcase her TEA party credentials and didn’t do anything to stand out. She has simply been overshadowed by the entrance of Perry. Herman Cain stuck to his buisness leader guns but is quickly fading away as he fails to have the power or ability to shine above the other candidates. Jon Huntsman was doing a good job until he got led into his global warming stance which is a quick turn off for most GOP primary voters. Ron Paul did something he normally shy’s away from and took some shots at fellow Texan Perry but again fell prey to his lack of communication skills and undoubtedly hurt the small amount of momentum he gained in Iowa.

In my opinion Romney looked more presidential, whatever that means, and remained calm and well spoken. Romney deserves the win in the 1st head to head showdown between himself and Rick Perry. Perry handled the expected barrage of shots across his bow from his opponents and came out strong in the beginning. As the debate went on Perry seemed to fade and Romney still stood out. Perry also made some bulletin board comments that his opponents, and especially liberals, will pin up and go after every time he speaks. For that he gets the 2nd place finish. The polls in the next week will be interesting. Will Perry hold onto his entering momentum….or will Romney have gained back the spot he has held since the beginning?

It would be hard pressed for any conservative who is voting Republican to deny that after this debate there are 2 candidates that distanced themselves from the rest. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

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Rick Perry Picks Up Important Endorsement for President

Bookmark and Share   Early in the evening on Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry picked up a valuable endorsement in a critical early primary state. Republican Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Dean Cannon, endorsed Rick Perry for President. One of the major stated reasons for Cannon’s endorsement was Perry’s highly successful record of job creation in Texas.

A statement released by Cannon read;

“America is at a crossroads. Time and time again, President Obama’s agenda has damaged the confidence of the private sector and made it harder – not easier – to create the jobs Americans desperately need,” Cannon said in a statement. “The President has failed, and it’s time for a different approach.”

“Governor Perry knows that we must reduce government spending. You cannot tax your way into prosperity, and you cannot borrow your way out of debt. Governor Perry’s record of creating jobs and cutting spending is exactly what we need to get our country back on track, and I am excited to support his campaign to get America working again,”

For his part. Perry declared:

“I know that with Speaker Cannon’s help, we will win Florida’s primary, the Republican nomination, and ultimately, the Presidency. “

How much weight Cannon’s endorsement will directly have among Florida voters statewide, is questionable but indirectly this endorsement means much. In addition to opening up the coffers of deep pocketed Floridians who want to remain well connected to the political process in Florida on the state level, Cannon’s decision will also influence the decisions of other local Florida state legislators who want to remain in the good graces of their leader. This will in turn provide Perry with a wealth of volunteers from the local, grass root Republican organizations which each state legislator controls or at least holds significant sway with. After Cannon’s endorsement, those legislators who endorse anyone else are in essence going against the will of their leader. Rightly or wrongly, that doesn’t play well for them. Legislative leaders have long memories and they have a way of making sure that certain bills never see the light of day, if you what I mean?

So while nationally, few know who Dean Cannon is, he could be a critical player in influencing who the next President of the United States is.

In addition to being one of the earliest states to hold a presidential nomination contest, Florida also has the third largest delegation count and is seen as a prelude to the results of the rest of the all important South. As such, it can either solidify a candidates frontrunner status, or take it away from them and give someone else the opportunity to claim that mantle and the momentum that will come with it.

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