Republican presidential primary

What is Palin up to?

Sep 14, 2011 By Paul Burka

I thought Perry and Palin were buddies. She came to Texas to endorse him against Bill White in December 09. But her “crony capitalism” attack on Perry was an indication that she sees an opening for her to be the nominee. If she can weaken Perry, and he falters, the…

The Washington Post’s take on the debate

Sep 13, 2011 By Paul Burka

(The author of the following excerpt is Dana Milbank.) The applause identified Rick Perry as the crowd favorite when he took the stage in Tampa for Monday night’s Tea Party debate,  greeting his lesser rivals as “fellas.” But two hours later, those fellas – and a gal from Minnesota –…

Perry holds up under fire…sort of

Sep 8, 2011 By Paul Burka

Who won the Republican debate? According to Jennifer Rubin, who writes the "Right Turn" conservative blog for the Washington Post, it was Karl Rove and Dick Cheney: Neither was on the stage, but Karl Rove and Dick Cheney put the Social Security issue front and center. Earlier in the day, Rove said Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s language on Social Security is “toxic.” Meanwhile, Cheney disputed Perry’s claim that it is a “Ponzi scheme” and said we have to fix it and not dismantle it. Perry is betting that the Republican party has become so radicalized that his extreme rhetoric is what the base wants to hear. He believes that every time he calls social security a "ponzi scheme" and a "monstrous lie," he locks down votes on the right. He will concede the country-club wing of the party to Romney, knowing that it is only a third of the Republican vote--and he will go after the remaining two-thirds. Perry made no effort to soften his views last night, insisting ever more forcefully that young Americans will never see social security checks and that the program is a failure. Romney took him on: "You can't say that social security is a failure. Our president has to be committed to saving social security." When he was asked about Rove's comment that Perry's dismissal of social security could be toxic in a general election, Perry lost it. "Karl's been over the top for a long time," he said of the man who masterminded Perry's first campaign for public office, in 1990. "I'm not responsible for Karl any more." He practically snarled the words.

What to expect in the GOP debate

Sep 7, 2011 By Paul Burka

I expect Perry to be seen as the winner. All he has to do is just repeat his prepackaged zingers, and he will come off well. Anyway, it won’t be the comments that win the debate; it will be Perry’s TV appearance and persona. As his media guru, David Weeks,…

Another amazing Perry poll (CNN/ORC International)

Aug 30, 2011 By Paul Burka

Perry 27% Romney 14% Palin 10% Bachmann 9% …and so on Perry has doubled up Romney in this poll. The more extreme his rhetoric gets, the more extreme his poll numbers get. Conditions of the poll: Interviews with 1,017 adult Americans conducted by telephone by ORC International on August 24-25,…