Rick Perry’s GOP competitors are pounding him right and left, but I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll weather the storm — and not just because he has an outsized personality and a jobs record to make CEOs salivate. No, he won’t be at the mercy of his would-be rivals’ less-than-impressive, almost-laugh-out-loud-obvious ads for another reason entirely: Money. What makes campaigns go round.
Make Us Great Again, a pro-Rick Perry super PAC, has plenty of money to spare — and a strategy to ensure not a dollar goes to waste. “Plans for major ad blitzes to the tune of $45 million through the end of March and an additional $10 million after that”? I like the sound of it — provided Perry and Romney, at least, don’t weaken each other so severely as to render the other truly vulnerable in the general.
Although … if you recall, the 2008 Democratic primary was pretty bitter (I know a gal who almost didn’t give herself a chance to fall in love with her now-husband because she worked for Hillary’s campaign and he worked for Barack’s). That acerbic slog didn’t stand between O and the presidency. So, go to it, Make Us Great Again. NBC’s Michael Isikoff with more:
The new super PAC backing Rick Perry has drawn up plans to spend $55 million as part of an ambitious campaign strategy aimed at blowing away the Texas governor’s rivals in early primary states and securing him the Republican nomination by next spring, according to internal committee documents obtained by NBC News. …
They also show that the strategists behind the new Perry super PAC, led by a longtime Perry confidant and backed with infusions of cash from major Perry donors, are preparing to mount a full service political operation — complete with TV advertising, direct mail and social media outreach.
If it realizes its goals, the super PAC — which calls itself “Make Us Great Again” — will likely eclipse the financial operations of Perry’s official presidential campaign committee, according to some Republican consultants. …
The Make Us Great Again strategy, according to the Power Point presentation, is predicated on winning at least two of the first three GOP contests — in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. It notes that in every GOP primary battle since 1980, the winner of two of these three contests has gone on to win the nomination. …
[T]he strategy calls for spending $20 million on the three major early states (as well as Florida and Nevada), according to another slide of the Power Point presentation. This would be followed by a[nother] phase of the strategy — dubbed “Nomination Push” — during which the group would spend another $20 million on 20 states that form the next wave of contests through March 24. These states, which Make Us Great Again strategists view as decisive, include most key Southern battlegrounds — including Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia — where Perry will be expected to have a major home turf advantage.
The final phase of the strategy — dubbed “Finish” — calls for spending only $10 million after March 25 — a sign that the super PAC architects expect the nomination battle to be essentially over by then.
Importantly, though, Make Us Great Again spokesman Jason Miller says the documents obtained by NBC News are already outdated. “As the dynamics of this primary have changed, so have our targeting and spending,” Miller wrote to Isikoff in an e-mail, although he declined to elaborate. Does that mean Make Us Great Again plans to spend more than $55 million? Less? Sounds like the PAC will spend whatever it takes to defend Perry from damaging attacks and to forward a few of their own. In the meantime, the fact that Make Us Great Again is so not hurting for cash suggests an impressive level of commitment from his backers.