Free Markets, Free People


Is Rick Perry not ready for prime time?

Brit Hume, Senior Political Analyst for Fox News certainly seems to feel that way given Gov. Rick Perry’s performance at the past 3 GOP debates:

Analyzing the results of Saturday’s Florida Straw Poll on “Fox News Sunday,” Fox News senior political contributor Brit Hume said businessman Herman Cain’s victory may not mean very much, and that Perry’s poor showings recently may indicate his campaign is on the verge of  “total collapse.”

“Perry really did throw up all over himself in the debate at a time when he needed to raise his game,” Hume said.

“He did worse, it seems to me, than he had done in previous debates. Romney was as strong as he has been lately. He has clearly raised his game in reaction to the emergence of Perry. It’s been good for Romney in a way that one might not have predicted … Perry is about one-half a step away from almost total collapse as a candidate.”

When Perry showed up for his first national debate, he could be forgiven for not understanding the performance standards.  It is a whole different level than what a governor goes through when running for office.  But then you expect a better performance in the second debate incorporating the experience of the first and the lessons learned.   However, the 2nd debate actually seemed to be a worse performance.  And the third worst of all.

Perry’s entry into the race made him the instant front-runner.  But his three performances in nationally televised debates has seen that position erode significantly.  

Hume goes on:

“I don’t think we’re being too harsh on Rick Perry,” Hume said. “He still has some opportunity to recover his balance and put in a strong performance. What was so strikingly troubling about — from a Republican point of view — about this performance was that Perry was thought of as a really true conservative. Now it appears he has got this position on immigration which is anathema to a lot of conservatives.

“So this really hurts him with the base. You can’t, you know — look at all the trouble Romney’s had. He’s got some trouble with the base. That’s what’s holding him back. Now Perry has got the same trouble so his weakness is very real indeed.”

His “you don’t have a heart” comment concerning in-state tuition for the children of illegal aliens was ill advised.   It was poorly stated and it was just bad politics.   And as Hume points out, it may have invalidated his “true conservative” credentials among those voters on the right looking for one  – whether Perry really ever had those credentials or not (perhaps that moment was inevitable).   That statement removed all doubt and put him in the same place among conservative voters as Mitt Romney, at least for the time being.   The difference is that the GOP voters, especially conservatives, are used to Romney and will pull the lever for Romney if they have to given the alternative.   The hope was Rick Perry would be the answer to their prayers.   Instead he seems to be a disappointment.  Less informed, much less polished and frankly unprepared.

Unless he steps up his game he will eventually be dismissed as “Mitt light”, and folks that’s a hard distinction to earn and one no politician should want if they’re on the right side of the political spectrum.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Print
  • Google Bookmarks

27 Responses to Is Rick Perry not ready for prime time?

  • “When Perry showed up for his first national debate, he could be forgiven for not understanding the performance standards…   However, the 2nd debate actually seemed to be a worse performance.  And the third worst of all.”


    I was under the impression that Perry had only participated in two debates so far; and that he didn’t even announce until after the first debate with Cain, Pawlenty, et al.
    Did I miss one somewhere?
     

  • A few notes:
    1. Perry has never been seen as a good debater
    2. Perry is not stupid
    3. Perry has never lost an election
    4. He is reputed to have a team of “out-of-the-box” thinkers advising him
    5. Presumably, Perry and advisers knew about Item 1
    Finally, is this really how we get the best leader for our nation?  Really…???

  • A reminder – Perry started out political life as a Democrat, for whatever consideration that is worth.

    And I don’t want the media, once again, determining who the Republicans pick, AND the fact that the Republican old guard that gave us the McCain crap sandwich favors Romney is enough to make me distrust him.   Now I’m not real happy about Perry’s view, BUT, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that if those kids are born here they’re US citizens.  We may not like it, but that’s the current lay of the land.  I’m one of the ones paying for Perry’s largesse, I don’t want to encourage Mexican illegal immigration, but let’s get real, it isn’t college for their kids in 18 years that’s bringing these people into the country, and the Fed allegedly has the job of preventing illegal immigration, and guard their right to fail to do it VERY effectively. If you want to get pissed at Perry, get pissed because he hasn’t closed the Texas Mexico border in some novel way that the DOJ won’t show up and crap on.

    Final observation – A Texas Democrat generally weighs about the same as a Massachusetts Republican, if the guy was acceptable enough to be elected by the average Massachusetts Democrat at one point, that makes me ponder his long standing views.

    • R. Reagan started his political life as a FDR New Deal liberal Democrat.
      Perry was never one of those.

    • Now I’m not real happy about Perry’s view, BUT, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that if those kids are born here they’re US citizens.  We may not like it, but that’s the current lay of the land.


      That is a disingenuous argument.  A child born in the US of illegals is a US citizen – they are not illegal and if they reside in Texas they already qualify for in-state tuition breaks.  What is at issue are illegals being granted tuition breaks.
       

      I’m one of the ones paying for Perry’s largesse, I don’t want to encourage Mexican illegal immigration, but let’s get real, it isn’t college for their kids in 18 years that’s bringing these people into the country…


      This is just silly.  Of course parents are not motivated to illegally cross into the US just for the tuition breaks.  But if they do, and they bring their 4 year old, that child is not a US citizen, and that child will benefit from not just in-state tuition in ten years, but will benefit from K-12 education as well.  Furthermore, any person of any age can cross themselves and benefit from Perry’s largesse for the rest of their lives.  Remember, more and more college students are non-traditional – in state tuition can benefit thirty and forty year olds as well as the 18-22yr/old demographic your argument is predicated upon.

      • Bains, you are ill-informed.
        Read up on the predicates for in-state tuition in Texas.
        Also, be aware that under Texas taxes, illegals DO pay state taxes.
        Finally, according to the last stats I read, a fraction of ONE PERCENT of HIGHER EDUCATION students (which includes trade schools) in Texas are illegal.

        • To put a number to it, an estimated 12,138.  Total college enrollment is in excess of 1.5 million.

        • I will cop to the charge that I am unfamiliar with Texas laws.  I would also be surprised if they differ vastly from Colorado and California laws of which I am familiar.

          Regarding the amount of illegals granted in-state tuitions, to me that is beside the point.  If a policy is wrong, it is wrong irrespective of how many people benefit, or do not.  I read an interesting opinion over the weekend (that I can not find now) that was excoriating those in Washington who lambaste government agencies who spend $18 on bran muffins but ignore the far greater waste within high dollar government spending.  Valid point, but greater point is that all waste should be better controlled.  Without skin in the game, these politicians and bureaucrats have no incentive not to spend taxpayers dollars unwisely.  In fact, I would argue that they knowingly spend monies unwisely because they know it will benefit a constituency group that will compensate their ill-advised policies with campaign donations (obviously I understand that on a personal level these are wise and well-advised policies – they are also wholly egotistical and un-statesmanlike).

          Bottom line for me, is that Perry enacted a stupid policy, and like Romney, he is stupidly standing by it.  Neither will preclude me from voting to either if they are the GOP nominee.

          • Bottom line for me, is that Perry enacted a stupid policy…

            According to you.  According to the republican democratic process in Texas, it was a good idea.
            It sure has turned out to have been no burden to Texas.  Now, we DO NOT have a state income tax, as does Kulhifornia, so EVERYBODY here pays taxes.

      • “This is just silly.  Of course parents are not motivated to illegally cross into the US just for the tuition breaks.”

        But the ‘fear’ being bandied about is that we’re encouraging illegal immigration because of the college tuition.  And they already get K-12 education by law, we have a much bigger problem than worrying about in-state or out-of-state college tuition for illegals, so fine, but focus on the problem, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, not on the idea we’re paying college costs for them.  And now we’re back to Federal mandates that Perry, or any Texas Governor would have to figure out how to get round.

        “Illegal immigrants entering Texas’ higher education system are direct beneficiaries of a 1982 Supreme Court decision, Plyler vs. Doe. Parents in Tyler sued after the state began charging tuition for illegal immigrant children. The court ruled that Texas and the rest of the country must educate illegal immigrant children free of charge in public schools.”

        You can blame Perry for agreeing with it, but it’s the law.

        “Furthermore”, the Texas law requires they attend schools in Texas 3 years prior to graduation from high school (which will be a neat trick for a 45 year old sneaking in) and post an affidavit declaring they will seek US residency status ASAP.

        So “Furthermore, any person of any age can cross themselves and benefit from Perry’s largesse for the rest of their lives. ” is a fabrication, where ever it came from.

        In 2004 Romney admitted he hated the idea of making college unaffordable for children of illegal immigrants.

        • But to be fair, Romney DID veto a similar law in Massachusetts, the like of which Perry signed into law instead of vetoing.  We’re not just close to the coal face in Texas, we ARE the coal face, a concern Romney never had to address.

      • …the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that if those kids are born here they’re US citizens.

        (Both of ‘ya) The Supreme Court held no such thing; a one paragraph opinion in another case has been what the left conveniently held to be the proper interpretation (tortured logic as it is).

    • Ronald Reagan also started out as a democrat and he changed to republican, it did not hurt him.
       

  • My nightmare is Perry getting rolled by Obama in the debates next year. It would be just the shot in the arm Obama needs.

    • Do they allow teleprompter’s during debates?

      Then again, I guess you could be anticipating the media debate host asking Perry questions about Guardasil and educating the children of illegals contrasted against the questions to Obama about which club he prefers when he’s 100 feet off the green in the middle of the fairway, and whether he prefers Hawaii to Martha’s Vineyard for his holidays.  And then the after debate reports of how poised, cool and collected Obama appeared to be, and how sharp his suit creases were and how presidential he looked.

      • Obama doesn’t always sound dumb when speaking without a teleprompter. He did well enough in 2008 against Clinton and McCain. Plus as everyone who has competed knows, there are times when the stars line up and you do much better than usual.

        Obama could beat Perry bad in a debate.

    • I’m not sure Perry needs to debate Obama at all.
      Talk past him.

  • Perry was so welcomed because so many despise Romney.  Welcomed with as much enthusiasm and uncritical thought as our current President was ushered into office in fact.  But underpinning this discussion is a strong tendency amongst the right to be more anti-____ than pro-____.

    Cant support Romney because he is a flip-flopping Massachusetts Republican Mormon.
    Cant support Perry because he is a flip-flopping Texas Democrat Baptist.
    Cant support Cain because he is an articulate black man (just look what that got us here, and besides, the media will turn his nomination into an evil rightwing style affirmative action)
    Cant support Bachmann because you are so afraid of the Palin syndrome (buying into a media created caricature).
    Cant support Santorum because he is just Christian crazy.

    Personally, I would support any of the above in the general election (contrary to Billy’s advise in another of today’s QandO posts).  More importantly, I’m working on the down-ticket races where Billy’s concerns are best addressed.  US House and Senate as well as the State Houses and county and community supervisors and regents are the best places to have representatives sympathetic to grass root concerns.  We have already seen the Tea Party force Boehners hand in Congress – we need more of that kind of pressure to force whomever is at the top of the national ticket to not fall victim of the inside the beltway policy complacency and soft graft.

    Barring some huge revelation, I will be voting for Michele Bachmann in Colorado’s primary.  While green on the legislative side, I still think her background as a federal tax attorney provides a unique and necessary tool to solve the problems this nation faces.  But I wont be trashing Romney, or Perry just because they are polling better nationally; at this stage we should be strongly supporting whom we are for.  This is, in fact,  the reason for primaries.

    Irrespective of what the coastal elites think, Rick Perry is ready for primetime.  With the exceptions of Gary Johnson and Ron Paul, all GOP candidates are ready.  The only thing Rick Perry’s debate performances have shown is that he is not the Reagenesque candidate so many pine for.  (And neither will Chris Christie be, if he enters the race.)

    • Bains, the only reason I pull for Perry is because I KNOW Perry, warts and all.   I don’t trust Romney because of the carry over of having lived half my life in Massachusetts, but never having experienced Romney as Governor there.

      Hell, you bring to memory, Reagen himself didn’t appear to be Reagenesque until AFTER we elected him.  The office of POTUS is the polish of a candidate and unfortunately as we have seen, is a lot like the legislation we have to pass to find out ‘what’s in it’.

      • Hell, you bring to memory, Reagen himself didn’t appear to be Reagenesque until AFTER we elected him.

        Without question. In 1980, my first qualified national election, I bought into the media narrative against Ronny. But there was no way that I could vote for Carter (several years prior I spent a good part of that summer in Teheran/Isfahan/Shiraz – Carter sold out the Persian people). Jon Anderson had my vote. Four years later though, I proudly voted for Reagen much to the consternation and ridicule of virtually all my college mates. Friends (those that incomprehensibly remain Liberal that is) that now begrudgingly admit that Reagen was almost as good a President as Clinton…

        • I had to choose between Carter and Ford as my first Presidential – and I picked Ford, because I was a Yankee conservative who didn’t trust a peanut farmer from Georgia with too much smile.

          I happily voted for Reagan the first time around and second time around as a result.

          Besides, in 75 they put Ford in our high school yearbook in the place of all the kids who didn’t get their photos taken in time for the publication, I had to vote for him, he was my classmate  :)
           

    • Isn’t it interesting that an avid reader of a small L libertarian blog and the larger L Reason.com would find the big L libertarian candidates (R. Paul & G. Johnson) so objectionable.  I suspect my attitude is not uncommon here!

      NEO-LIBERTARIAN!

      • The same Ron Paul who is a virulent anti-Semite? The one who would have Dennis Kuchinich in his cabinet?
        Objectionable? You bet!!!

      • I’d be OK with Paul, but the sun will go out before he would get a Republican Nomination, or win in a general election either .

  • living in Texas I can tell you that what is important about Perry is not that he has no flaws but that he have moved steadily over time in the direction of less government, and less centralization.
    It would be a huge mistake IMO if the GOP chose Romney, the guy says the right  things now (except for global warming) but he just does not have the right instincts. He is still, I think, a big government guy in his bones.
    He also did not appoint good judges when he was in power. His judge appointments were nearly all fuzzy headed progressives.