Undecided 2012: Perry vulnerabilities lie in support of Dems
Tonight, eight Republican Presidential candidates will face off in Simi Valley for a chance to prove their Regan-ness to a nationwide electorate. But the Regan Debate isn’t just any debate, with new frontrunner Gov. Rick Perry in the race, all of the candidates have an opportunity to climb and rearrange their positions in the field.
DEMOCRAT PERRY: SUPPORTED GORE, VOTED REAGAN
Over the Labor Day weekend, fellow Texan and presidential candidate Ron Paul put some pressure on Texas Gov. Rick Perry on his past. While it was widely known that Perry was a Democrat in the 1980s, it was not known that Perry had supported, in fact endorsed, then-Sen. Al Gore in 1988 for President.
During a gaggle in Iowa, Paul said that Perry was Gore’s campaign chairman in Texas “not too many years ago.” PolitiFact said that while Perry’s supported Gore in 1988, he did not chair his Texas campaign.
Of course, Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan said that Perry voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984 despite supporting President Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Gore in 1988.
ALL EYES ON PERRY
Perry’s short stay in the presidential stay has shaken up enough of the field to upset a few people (Bachmann and Romney). Romney’s goal is to tastefully contrast himself with the Texas governor and Bachmann’s is to show that she’s got the gravitas to take on Perry head-on.
Why? Because Bachmann’s climb to the top of the Tea Party base was almost immediately eclipsed by Perry’s entry into the race.
If Bachmann wants to remain relevant, it’s time to talk tough (similar to Newt Gingrich during the Ames Debate).
Granted Bachmann can keep Perry off of his game, Romney’s got a wide open shot to give his economic plan a road test in California and use it against Perry (and even further against Obama).
AFTER THE DEBATE
Here in the Central Valley, the candidates aren’t packing their bags and hitting the road for South Carolina or Iowa. Two candidates are headed to Fresno some time after the debate.
Romney will be in Fresno for a fundraising breakfast at the home of James and Kristine Maxwell on September 17. After the breakfast, Romney heads to Harris Construction to meet with Richard and Karen Spencer for a short meet-and-greet.
Perry will be around the Central Valley on Friday, starting at a breakfast in Bakersfield then a dinner fundraiser at the Downtown Club hosted by the Fresno County Lincoln Club.