I’ll quote a little but you’re better off reading the whole thing. There’ll be lots of media noise around it for the next few days, especially after Trump responds. And it’s a fine indictment of Hopenchange even apart from the Trump stuff. He’s trying to do two things here, picking a fight with the media’s favorite candidate to gain some reflected exposure and re-introducing himself to righties who disdain Trump but aren’t sure which way to go yet as an alternative. This is Perry telling Trump-haters, of which there are many, that their choices aren’t between Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.
By the way, when was the last time one candidate attacked another this extensively this early in a primary? You can imagine that in the context of a primary challenge to an incumbent president, where the insurgent wants to make a comprehensive case against the tenure of the man in charge, but I can’t recall an example in an open field like this one.
In times of trouble, there are two types of leaders: repairers of the breach and sowers of discord.
The sower of discord foments agitation, thrives on division, scapegoats certain elements of society, and offers empty platitudes and promises. He is without substance when one scratches below the surface.
He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.
That’s just the warm-up.
Donald Trump is the modern-day incarnation of the know-nothing movement.
He espouses nativism, not conservatism. He is negative when conservatism is inherently optimistic…
But most telling to me is not Mr. Trump’s bombast, his refusal to show any remorse for his comments about Senator McCain, but his admission that there is not a single time in his life that he sought the forgiveness of God.
A man too arrogant, too self-absorbed, to seek God’s forgiveness is precisely the type of leader John Adams prayed would never occupy the White House…
When a candidate under the Republican banner would abandon the tradition of magnanimous leadership of the presidency, when he would seek to demonize millions of citizens, when he would stoop to attack POWs for being captured, I can only ask as Senator Welch did of Senator McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”…
Resentment is the poison we swallow that we hope harms another. My fellow Republicans, don’t take the poison.
If you want a sneak preview of how Trump will reply, here you go. One smart thing Perry’s done here that the rest of Trump’s critics in the field haven’t is that he’s committed fully to the antagonism. He’s not doing Lindsey Graham style potshots at what a “jackass” Trump is, which is easily dismissed by voters as squabbling. He’s presenting his critique as something important not just to the race but to conservatism. And now he’s going to be a guy who’s watched at the debates when he wouldn’t have been otherwise. The plotline until now was “how will Jeb Bush cope with Trump’s attacks onstage?” A new plotline is “how will Trump cope, and voters react, when Perry makes this argument to his face?” Looking forward to it.
Here’s a new ad from Team Perry countering Trump’s reminder that Perry once asked for his support. The admiration apparently went both ways back in the pre-cancer-on-conservatism days.