The audience at the Texas Republican Convention was not completely friendly to Rick Perry during his speech Thursday. While many lines drew loud applause, the Tea Party-packed crowd booed when Perry reiterated his support for David Dewhurst’s senate candidacy.
The Texas Tribune ’s Morgan Smith interpreted these jeers as “a strong indication that many favor Tea Party candidate and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz.” (Cruz and Dewhurst will square off in the on the July 31 GOP senate run-off, after Cruz received 34.2 percent of the vote tot he lite guv’s 44.6 percent.)
After his speech, when asked about the audience’s response to his Dewhurst plug, Perry replied, “I thought they were saying ‘Dewwww,’” Smith reported. This could be dubbed the “Boo-urns defense” (Alexander Burns of Politico dug up the relevant Simpsons clip).
Dewhurst, who was in the audience, laughed over the moment before adding “in politics, a lot of times when you work real hard, you’d like to win elections with 100 percent of the vote but it’s not real practical. There’s always people who may disagree,” he said, according to Will Weissert of the the Associated Press.
Throughout the speech, Perry made jokes about his failed presidential bid (“$20 million may not earn you any delegates but it’ll give you not get you a great tour of this country” and “Being the presidential front-runner was the most exhilarating three hours of my life! It was awesome”) before circling back to dub 2008 “our national ‘oops’ moment.
Perry was also coy about what the future may hold for him: “I’m not riding off into the sunset. I’m mounting up for the next operation.”
Watch Perry’s 23-minute speech in full below (the line that drew boos begins at 13:10):