If Perry does launch a second White House bid in 2016, the reaction to his appearance at this year’s CPAC suggests he has a great deal of work to do to convince the conservative true-believers that he deserves another shot at their support.
The three-term governor may never have been the first choice of the young, libertarian-leaning adherents that dominate the nation’s largest annual gathering of conservative activists, but there is a clear sense here among the CPAC crowd that Perry had his chance and does not deserve a mulligan.
Asked whether he wanted to see Perry run for the nation’s highest office again, Langston Bowens of the Young Tea Party Patriots echoed the sentiment conveyed by Hernberg and several other attendees.
“No, not at all,” Bowens said. “Rick Perry’s a good guy, but I think it’s time the party steps away from Rick Perry, the Bushes, the Romneys, and begins to focus more on [Marco] Rubio, Rand Paul, and taking a stance on issues that all Americans can get behind. Perry’s definitely the old guard.”