Don’t mean to pile on, but the woes of Texas Governor Rick Perry just keep getting worse, as the Republican flavor of the week seems to have gone sour. Perry’s performance has been criticized as woeful, which it was. But it appears to me that he would have been better off mumbling non-sequiturs than speaking clearly about issues such as immigration. His statement that those who oppose in state tuition for illegal immigrants are “heartless” appears to have backfired on him. Yesterday’s FLA straw poll, where Perry had invested time and resources, was won by Herman Cain. And Cain pretty well skunked him there, winning 37% of the vote, to 15% for Perry and 14% for Mitt Romney, who did not compete here. (Romney is not participating in any straw polls). I published a FLA poll showing relatively good numbers for Rick Perry a couple of days ago, so the debate debacle appears to have inflicted a major wound on the Texas Governor. And being tongue tied doesn’t appear to be the primary focus of FLA Republicans. From Politico:
In interview after interview as they filed out of the Orange County Convention Center hall where votes were cast, delegates pointed to his support for a state-based version of the DREAM Act — which provides in-state tuition rates to some illegal immigrants — and his denouncement of those who disagree as lacking “a heart.”
“I looked at my wife when he said that and said, ‘I think he may have just lost,’ … because it was making it personal to a lot of Republicans,” Florida State Rep. Scott Plakon said of the debate answer.”
And the hits just keep on coming:
“I considered Perry until he said we don’t have a heart,” said Joe Burk from Orlando, who voted for Romney. “We can get that liberal guilt trip stuff from someone else.”
Maybe one more:
“Perry buried himself with the immigration issue,” said Mary Ellen Crowder, a delegate from Palm Harbor who voted for Cain after coming to the debate torn between him, Perry and Rick Santorum. “If they’re illegal, they need to get the hell out of America.”
Maybe the Republican rank and file should heed Governor Perry and seek the assistance of the Great and Powerful Oz.
Even Howie Carr is piling on.
Maybe a worse week for Perry than we thought.