Perry: I’m looking forward to a primary of real Republicans in South Carolina

posted at 8:20 pm on January 4, 2012 by Allahpundit

Explain a few things to me. One: Why did he announce publicly last night that he was “reassessing” if he truly hadn’t decided to quit yet? If you want to push the talking point that Iowa doesn’t mean anything and that the real race begins in South Carolina, then push it. Don’t show everyone that the caucuses have left you so badly shaken that you’re thinking of getting out. And if that was simply a ploy to give him an excuse to skip campaigning in New Hampshire, where he has no shot, then why immediately turn around this morning and announce that you’re back in? (“I was out on the trail when it kind of came to me.”) Lie low for a few days as the New Hampshire scrum gets going and then announce that you’re back in and headed for Carolina. Even some of his advisors are confused about the reversal: “It seemed like everything was going to wind down and life was gonna be good, and now there’s an explosion and I don’t know what’s going on.”

Two: He says in the clip that he’s looking forward to a primary with real Republicans, not the Democratic infiltrators for which Iowa is known. But … South Carolina’s an open primary. If you want to make mischief for a conservative, it’s probably easier to do it there than in Iowa. And even if Iowa’s teeming with independents and liberals, how did that hurt Perry last night? Ron Paul was the big beneficiary of the non-Republican vote and surely will be again in South Carolina. Perry’s problem isn’t squishes lining up to torpedo him, it’s conservatives who have given up on him after one too many goofs. What he’s really saying here, I take it, is that he’s looking forward to a primary of southerners, which is fair enough — but then so is the guy who beat him out for fourth place last night.

Three: How does he win South Carolina? The Times has a theory:

While the campaign spent millions of dollars in Iowa, Mr. Perry may still have enough money to compete effectively in South Carolina, where television is less expensive than in New Hampshire and Florida, and his super PAC will likely provide additional firepower. While Mr. Perry will probably need to reboot his fund-raising to raise enough money to compete strongly in Florida’s primary on Jan. 31, his supporters believe the results in Iowa, however inauspicious for Mr. Perry, showed a hunger among Republicans for a more conservative alternative to Mr. Romney.

“Think how early we are in the process,” said a person with knowledge of the campaign, who asked for anonymity in order to discuss deliberations among Mr. Perry’s aides. “The reality is, not one delegate was committed yesterday. We are still early enough in the process that if the candidate has the drive to go forward, he ought to.”

“If we can get this back to a Perry versus Romney field,” the person said, “Perry can win.”

If he does well there, he’ll burst Santorum’s bubble, finish off Gingrich, and lay to rest whatever remains of Huntsman’s campaign after his likely defeat in New Hampshire. But that all depends on how well Santorum does in NH, of course. If Santorum gets a major bounce from Iowa and finishes a respectable second to Mitt up north, he’ll arrive in South Carolina as the presumptive social-con Not Romney, which makes things very hard for Perry. Perry fans, in fact, are now in the strange position of needing a Romney landslide next Tuesday to prove that Santorum’s a paper tiger whom South Carolinians shouldn’t bother taking a chance on.

And even if that Romney landslide happens, that’s dangerous too. The big rap on Mitt is that he has a low ceiling because most of the party hates him, but once there’s solid proof to the contrary of that in some state, it might shake loose undecideds elsewhere. Plus, Romney will have Nikki Haley campaigning for him in South Carolina, so if he shows up with lots of momentum, lots of endorsements, and a four-way split among the Not Romney vote, I wonder if he ends up winning there and suddenly looks so inevitable that no one can catch him even in a two-way race. That is to say, the assumption all along has been that anyone in the field (except Ron Paul) has a good shot of taking Romney out head to head. But maybe not. Maybe, if Romney runs the table early, the media buzz about inevitability and electability becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy in which even undecideds who prefer Perry or Santorum ideologically choose to opt for the guy with all the money and organization who can beat O. And on top of all that, for Perry to come back in South Carolina would be unprecedented: Since 1980, everyone who won there had also won in either Iowa or New Hampshire. Perry finished a distant fifth in the former and will do similarly in the latter. Are those long odds good enough to justify continuing, knowing that his participation will deepen the split in the conservative vote and inadvertently help Romney?

Next debate is Saturday night, by the way. Yesterday that looked like it was going to be an “everyone against Romney” affair, but with Perry back in and eager to take Santorum down, Mitt now has himself an unlikely ally.

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How can I make LOL so big my comment takes up the entire page?

I almost feel sorry for Perry. Yeah dude on to South Carolina where you are in single digits.

Question: Is there some sort of Jedi mind trick Romney is using to prevent blogs and the media from mentioning Newt has the best numbers in South Carolina? And the eventual nominee has won South Carolina since well at least a generation.

Not once did Allah even mention Newt as the frontrunner in South Carolina. A four way split of conservatives then a Mitt win? Methinks not. What would really help Newt is a Romney endorsement from Lindsey “We are going to tell the bigots to shut up” Graham.

Theworldisnotenough on January 5, 2012 at 1:57 AM

I could see this race coming down to Paul, Perry, and Romeny. In a brokered convention the Paul, Perry, and anti-Romney delegates would come together to form a Rand Paul/Rick Perry or vice versa ticket.

ModerateMan on January 5, 2012 at 2:10 AM

The only way for Perry is UP

As Ol’ Rick is only polling at 6% in South Carolina, I don’t think he, or anyone else, could go much lower, so the only way is up for Ol’ Rick or anybody else.

Fifth in Iowa, Fifth in South Carolina, but first in the hearts of his bots. YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaaaaa@

Horace on January 5, 2012 at 3:05 AM

The only way for Perry is UP

[...]
Horace on January 5, 2012 at 3:05 AM

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in this campaign, it’s that we can’t underestimate the ability of Rick Perry to continually screw up and humiliate himself in ever-embarrasing ways. Of course Perry can fall even further down, and probably will.

The man does himself no favors whenever he tries to speak. In no way shape or form is this guy Rick Perry presidential caliber. I actually feel badly for Rick Perry because I think he’s probably a good person… who has unfortunately made a fool out of himself over and over.

Rick Perry, you probably have some talents, but running for president is not one of them. You aren’t cut out for the presidency. Please direct your energy to helping the eventual nominee unite the party and defeat Obama.

bluegill on January 5, 2012 at 3:57 AM

Yes, Santorum had a lot of nerve calling on Perry last night. Just the other day, Santorum made fun of Perry’s “oops”, ABC has the video. It was a personal attack against Perry who has always kept his attacks on policy. It showed Santorum to be an immature and juvenile. Not to mention that it made him look like his IA poll numbers went to his head.

Aslans Girl on January 4, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Excuse me, but they are running for PRESIDENT. Why are you worried about someone pointing out the fact that Rick Perry is an incompetent buffoon? We cannot let a doofus like Rick Perry get anywhere near the White House. I think it is incumbent upon the candidates to draw attention to serious, disqualifying qualities in other candidates. Rick Santorum is not the best candidate, but he is totally in the right here in drawing attention to the embarrassing mistakes of the rodeo clown Rick Perry.

bluegill on January 5, 2012 at 4:10 AM

Dear Mittbot:

That “incompetent buffoon” has his state running like a top in a terrible economy, and he has so far been competent enough not to force people to purchase health insurance.

Furthermore, he has a core. He knows what he believes. Can you say that about your candidate?

I realize it’s frustrating that so many people would rather take out their contacts with razor blades than vote for your guy, but Rick Perry is a terrific governor. You don’t have to like him, but he deserves respect for the job he’s done, and for having served his country.

So sick of the insults aimed at this talented, conservative, patriotic, good and decent man. So blow it out your backside.

capitalist piglet on January 5, 2012 at 4:28 AM

Santorum will have problems in South Carolina. His strong social conservatism will equal out his Catholicism, but only just. His record of pro-union legislation and opposing right to work won’t help in a state still stinging from NLRB’s union-backed attempt to shut down our new $1 billion Boeing plant.

His record on spending is not very conservative either, he was a “compassionate conservative” before Dubya hit the scene. Plus, although he has made a lot of visits, he only named county coordinators on December 22, and has no offices in the state that I know of (or can be easily located with a search engine).

Adjoran on January 5, 2012 at 4:39 AM

That “incompetent buffoon” has his state running like a top in a terrible economy, and he has so far been competent enough not to force people to purchase health insurance.

capitalist piglet on January 5, 2012 at 4:28 AM

I don’t credit Perry for TX being a business-friendly state. It was that way before Perry, and it will be after Perry. All Perry did was get elected as a Republican in a very Republican state. NOT as impressive as some others Republican candidates’ past wins.

What’s more, the governor of TX has little power when you compare the position to governors in other states.

And, yes, Rick Perry is an incompetent buffoon, or haven’t you been paying attention during this campaign whenever the rodeo clown Rick Perry has opened his mouth?

talented, conservative, patriotic, good and decent man.

capitalist piglet on January 5, 2012 at 4:28 AM

I believe that Rick Perry is all those things, but I don’t think he has any business running for president. The man is obviously an empty suit who, if elected (which would never happen), would likely be our dumbest president ever. I don’t want a man like this leading and representing my country. I want a president I can be proud of.

Oh, and Rick Perry also opposes a border fence and supports illegal alien amnesty… even more reasons why I would never support such a man.

bluegill on January 5, 2012 at 4:46 AM

That is to say, the assumption all along has been that anyone in the field (except Ron Paul) has a good shot of taking Romney out head to head. But maybe not.

This is just a media created meme.

Look at the polls. Really. Look at the 2nd and 3rd choice. Look at the favorables of the candidates.

It’s the fact that there are so many non-Romney’s that is keeping Romney down. Once the field is less fractured, Romney will quickly jump into 60% territory.

We just have lousy pundits and analysts who are too illiterate or lazy to look at polls crosstabs. Or maybe the press just wants to artificially hype the race. In any case, it’s bogus.

joana on January 5, 2012 at 7:06 AM

IMO Perry appears to be the only candidate that is truly for smaller government! Take another look.

GFW on January 5, 2012 at 7:20 AM

If you want to push the talking point that Iowa doesn’t mean anything and that the real race begins in South Carolina, then push it. Don’t show everyone that the caucuses have left you so badly shaken that you’re thinking of getting out. – AllahP

Methinks AP is over-thinking all of this. Some people are able to make decisions quickly. Others, like President SmartPower, take 16 hours to give the green light to whacking bin Laden.
I don’t understand why this is such a big deal to Perry detractors.
We Perry supporters will live to fight another day and, as Martha Stewart would say:
“That’s a good thing.”

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 5, 2012 at 7:35 AM

I don’t credit Perry for TX being a business-friendly state. It was that way before Perry, and it will be after Perry. All Perry did was get elected as a Republican in a very Republican state. NOT as impressive as some others Republican candidates’ past wins.

bluegill on January 5, 2012 at 4:46 AM

No….it WAS a Democrat haven (Ma Richards ring a bell? And granted- Texas Dems are different). It IS a Republican state now. And,secondly, businesses don’t just up and move across the country because they like the weather. 40% of the country’s business growth over the last 3 years has been in Texas. He has helped cultivate a business friendly climate with fewer regulations (my father’s company was one).Don’t be obtuse

Oh, and Rick Perry also opposes a border fence and supports illegal alien amnesty… even more reasons why I would never support such a man.

bluegill on January 5, 2012 at 4:46 AM

This is just being aggressively ignorant. You can criticize the man for MANY things…..just choose one that’s legitimate

hoosierma on January 5, 2012 at 7:42 AM

Fifth in Iowa, Fifth in South Carolina, but first in the hearts of his bots. YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaaaaa@

Horace on January 5, 2012 at 3:05 AM

Horace the minute Perry drops out Romney is coronated. The minute that happens voters around the country lose interest in the up coming election. Romney is a moderate vanilla squish- at his best. It’s one of the reasons he’s stuck at 25%. If someone actually took the time to attack him, and he responded with something other than a vacillating answer, he might look more interesting.

I’m an Independent I won’t vote for a progressive so if Romney is coronated I lose interest in the process completely. I jump on the Gary Johnson bandwagon…now I don’t believe that requires tin foil hats, but I will have to stock up on tin foil. From what I understand his supporters cover the insides of their windows with tinfoil for some reason SNARK. If Obama get’s reelected it will be because the country club republicans can’t get it through their thick heads it’s 2012 not 2008, and fighting the last war over again is stupid.

Dr Evil on January 5, 2012 at 9:32 AM

We just have lousy pundits and analysts who are too illiterate or lazy to look at polls crosstabs. Or maybe the press just wants to artificially hype the race. In any case, it’s bogus.

joana on January 5, 2012 at 7:06 AM

Well Bachmann is gone now that’s one less to dived the conservative vote. I don’t believe that Santorum is anymore than the flavor of the week. Ron Paul stated himself, he didn’t believe he was going to win the nomination. Ron Paul is after all a Representative from the House of Representatives, with no executive experience. That leaves 3 Governors Romney, Perry and Huntsman all have executive experience. Speaker Gingrich is the wild card.

We are going to find out on the 10th if Huntsman and Gingrich can rally any challenge to Romney in New Hampshire. I heard there are two kinds of republican voters in New Hampshire – Country Club, and Libertarian. Not the Social Conservatives voters like in Iowa.

That looks like a Romney vs Paul match up, with perhaps Gingrich, and Huntsman coming in 3rd and 4th.

Dr Evil on January 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM

God bless and keep you governor Perry. Forgive these ignorant fools you follow the latest cult of personality that tells them what they want to here. Eventually even those so blind as to support a two faced liberal from Massachusetts will come around and see that your record of accomplishments and success trumps the rhetoric of these posers.

Perry 2012….. Experience Integrity Results.

iidvbii on January 5, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Once again it comes down to a “lesser of evils” decision.

- I really don’t like Romney because he’s not truly conservative; however, he IS more conservative than Obama.

- Perry is great as the Governor of Texas, and he needs to go back to Texas – much as I liked him to begin with, he’s almost as bad as Biden for gaffes, and won’t represent the US well, so he’s out.

- Gingrich is smart and has the best foreign policy understanding, AND he’s truly conservative; however, he’s coming off sour and he LOOKS sour (not that that should count but it does), and his 3 marriages don’t help the Social Conservatives to root for him in that regard.

- Bachmann & Cain are out, Palin was never in.

- This leaves Santorum (Huntsman was never in as far as I’m concerned, and Ron Paul has some great ideas, but he will NOT protect America and he’s too hippie like for me). Santorum…still digging and researching him. I like a lot of things about him, but I don’t know if he’s got what it takes to beat Obummer and that’s all that matters.

Ultimately, I will vote for Anybody But Obama. We just need to make sure that we have a GOP candidate who CAN beat Obama, PLEASE remember that, folks!!

patriotmom1776 on January 5, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Now you see why the observation back when Perry first got in that

…everybody loves Perry, except those in Texas; they just like him,

has some merit.

After this bumbling campaign and now ten years as Texas gov, I don’t think he could win a county commissioner seat here. We’re, shall we say, tired of him… The Texas governorship is a weak position, and he’s got it covered.

NeoCon_1 on January 5, 2012 at 11:55 AM

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