By Javier ManjarresDuring my trip across Iowa aboard Rick Perry’s “Road Ranger” bus tour, Perry held court aboard his bus and discussed a wide range of issues, gave the low-down on his presidential campaign, and offered up some pretty revealing thoughts about himself personally. Perry was riding high in the primary polls earlier this year until his lackluster debate performance in Orlando at Presidency 5. Perry could have cemented his status as front runner had he not underwhelmed at that debate and skipped out on addressing Florida’s Republican activists who then bolted Perry and flipped their support primarily to Herman Cain. Nearly every Cain voter I spoke with at Presidency 5 said they were initially Perry supporters but were disappointed that he didn’t hang around the event to address those gathered as Herman Cain did. The Perry camp said that it was a straight scheduling snafu, but that is not an excuse, and Perry should have addressed the group, regardless of where he would have finished in the straw poll.
Governor Perry acknowledges this tactical error in Florida, stating that he really “messed up”, and he vows to reach out to Floridians and ask that they re-evaluate his candidacy. A strong showing in Iowa and in South Carolina could build momentum for Perry’s campaign and position himself as the clear alternative to “Newt Romney”. Gingrich’s support is likely not as strong as it appears to be, and with Romney’s poll numbers staying roughly where they’ve been for the past several months, there is enough room in the race for one more candidate to enter the upper tier. Can Perry consolidate those former Herman Cain supporters who are not fully supportive of either Romney or Gingrich? Time will tell.
Governor Perry also reiterated his statement about infidelity being a “character flaw” and that those who commit adultery would likely cheat on their business partners.
I am a flawed sinner, and by the grace of God, I have been forgiven of my sins. – Governor Rick Perry
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