Since his surprise kind-of-exit from the race and then even more surprising “still in the race” announcement, people have been wondering how Rick Perry will breath a second wave of life into his primary hopes. New Hampshire looks pretty much out of reach for him, and Rick Santorum is sucking all the oxygen out of the room in terms of polling in the south right now. As predicted, it seems that Governor Perry will go the route many of us anticipated on the night of the Iowa caucuses and make his last stand in South Carolina.
Perry will make his presence known in the Palmetto State before he even sets foot there.
An aide to Perry told ABC News that the campaign would begin running statewide TV ads on broadcast and cable in South Carolina on Friday. Make Us Great Again, a pro-Perry super PAC, has blanketed the state with television ads since November.
Perry will bring the one-on-one retail politicking he displayed during his Iowa bus tour to South Carolina over the course of the next two weeks. The campaign will likely downsize from the Faith, Jobs and Freedom bus it drove through Iowa for three weeks and opt instead for a suburban caravan as it travels through a smaller state, focusing most of its time in the northern area.
Assisting in this effort is the fact that Perry probably still has significantly more money than Santorum and somewhat of a better established campaign infrastructure. They were able to get their first ad up on the air very quickly and had the money to do a pretty substantial media buy. In it, he’s not talking policy, jobs, taxes, etc. so much as he’s swinging back to his original line of attack: focusing on his strong family values, which should play well in South Carolina. Here’s the first ad for your consideration.
“As the son of tenant farmers from the West Texas town of Paint Creek, I learned the values of hard work, faith, and family.
I took those values with me when I served our country as a pilot in the Air Force.
I returned home to farm and ranch with my father and married my high school sweetheart.
The values I learned served me well as governor of Texas and will continue to guide me as president.
I’m Rick Perry, and I approve this message.”
If Perry can pull this off it will be one of the greatest comeback stories in GOP primary history. (Of course, given the strange, roller coaster nature of this race, everything is history making to some extent.) Since the voting ended in Iowa, there have been some tremors of doubt over whether or not Santorum could go the distance and defeat Obama. Perry would no doubt like to capitalize on those concerns and try to overturn the tables and replace the Pennsylvanian as the Romney alternative. In fact, he’s already put out a video to that effect.