Well, at least Governor Rick Perry didn’t mistake Kansas for Texas. Here’s the latest news from the campaign trail.
CALLED INTO QUESTION
Jack Gillum of the Associated Press scrutinized the governor’s phone records and found that Perry made phone calls to potential donors from his office line in the months before he actually was running, a violation of state ethics rules.
One of the calls Perry made was to Brint Ryan who went on to back the pro-Perry SuperPAC Make Us Great Again, which is legally prohibited from dealing directly with the campaign. (Gillum reported that the two men don’t appear to have spoken since the campaign started.) As Gillum noted, it can be a gray area for any candidate who holds office, especially when some of your biggest fundraisers also hold state jobs.
NO SUCH THING AS AN “SEC BUMP” IN IOWA
Noreen Malone of New York’s Daily Intel blog teased out a surprising detail from the most recent NBC News/Marist Poll (PDF) poll: Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have the strongest support among likely Iowa caucus-goers who follow college football “a great deal” or “a good amount.” Malone didn’t mention how Perry did, but we looked—the former Aggie yell leader was fourth in both categories, behind fellow Texan Ron Paul.
EVEN HUNTSMAN IS BETTER
This was the context provided by Perry Presidential’s Alexandra Jaffe who examined the latest Rasmussen Poll, which said President Obama was now outpolling Perry, 46 percent to 34 percent, among Republicans nationwide. Obama’s edge over the largely forgotten former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman would be 41-34.
Earlier in the campaign that same poll had Perry leading Obama, 44-41, but, as Jaffe noted, that was before the GOP debates.
According to the Rick Perry Report, all’s not lost in Iowa. Joe Hyde cited internal polling numbers Perry’s campaign manager Joe Allbaugh emailed to supporters, which said (among other things): voters are responding to Perry’s “Faith” ad; Perry still has a 67 percent positive image in Iowa; and 75 percent of people who are currently supporting frontrunner Newt Gingrich might still change their minds.
“Our message is starting to hold!” Allbaugh concluded in the email.
ACE OF BASE
As Arlette Saenz of ABC News reported, Perry also got to rile up the media and reach out to his base Tuesday by issuing a statement against President Obama’s plan to provide foreign aid to “promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”
“I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world, whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation,” Obama said in his memo.
Perry’s response? “This is just the most recent example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country. Investing tax dollars promoting a lifestyle many Americas of faith find so deeply objectionable is wrong. President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake.”
You can read Perry’s full statement about Obama’s announcement at the governor’s official campaign website, www.rickperry.org. Just don’t accidentally go to www.rickperry.com. As Jason Embry of the Austin American-Statesman tweeted, that URL now redirects to Ron Paul’s campaign site.