Tales from the Trail

Perry camp tries to spin “oops” moment into campaign gold

 

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s camp has found a new way to take advantage of his latest poor debate performance, while adding to his mailing list and, hopefully, donor rolls.

His website had a banner on Thursday morning reading, “What part of the Federal Government would you like to forget about the most? Click here to vote!” Nestled beside a fundraising appeal, the link let visitors to the site choose between 10 government departments and commissions — including the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and National Endowment “of” the Arts (it’s the National Endowment FOR the Arts). Voters gave their names, email addresses and zip codes to vote by submitting their answers to forgetmenot@rickperry.org.

The Republican presidential hopeful crashed during a debate in Michigan on Wednesday night when he stood on stage and struggled to remember the third of three U.S. government agencies he would close if elected next November.  Perry remembered that he wanted to shut down the Commerce and Education departments but could not remember the third — Energy — despite prompting from a moderator and some of his rivals.

His uncomfortable struggle — Perry came up with the answer 10 minutes later, after the debate had moved on — was the most memorable moment of a CNBC-sponsored debate on economic issues. It prompted questions about how long Perry’s campaign can last. Although he has been among the leaders in campaign fundraising, Perry has dropped from a Republican front-runner to trailing in opinion polls amidst a series of disappointing debate performances.

Perry has vowed to press on with his campaign. He and his aides have made the case that gaffes occur in every campaign and show that he is human and more about substance than style.

Perry freezes – normal guy or doomed presidential candidate?

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry drew a blank at the Michigan debate while trying to make a point about cutting government waste.

Afterwards, his campaign spokesman said it was an error of style not substance. Tony Fratto, former President George W. Bush’s spokesman, tweeted: “Perry can end his campaign right now.”

The affable Texas governor said he would eliminate three government agencies if elected president — but he could only name two.

Rick Perry’s animated speech

A video of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s speech Friday in New Hampshire became a popular online and cable television attraction, with viewers drawn in by the Republican presidential candidate’s animated performance.

The head of the group that hosted the event says Perry’s speech was well received by the audience and that there was nothing wrong with the governor, thehill.com blog Ballot Box reported on Tuesday.

“When I started seeing all of the blog stuff going up on Sunday and the video going viral it caught me by surprise,” Kevin Smith, the executive director of Cornerstone Action. “He was definitely more animated than we’ve seen him during the campaign but the reports that he was buzzed or whatever never crossed any of our minds.”

Cain takes the lead in GOP race – poll

Businessman Herman Cain has pulled ahead of Mitt Romney and now leads the field of 2012 Republican candidates, according to a new New York Times/ CBS News poll.

Cain has 25 percent support among Republican primary voters,  compared with 21 percent support for the former Massachusetts governor.

The two candidates were tied at 17 percent in the previous NYT/CBS poll released on Oct. 3.

Romney, Perry heat up stage at Las Vegas debate

In an earlier Republican presidential debate, Mitt Romney delivered a composed, “nice try” when he and Rick Perry locked horns over their respective records.

But at the debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night, a fight for domination between the two 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls came through strong verbal punches.

In one  prolonged verbal battle over illegal immigration, it seemed as if Perry was back in fighting form after poor performances in the early debates.

Cain’s ’9-9-9′ plan in focus at Republican debate

The buzz word was definitely “9-9-9″ in Tuesday’s Republican debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire that focused on economic issues.

During the debate, the catchphrase 9-9-9 was mentioned 25 times (including 16 times by the man who conceived it — Herman Cain).

“I think it’s a catchy phrase. In fact, I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard about it,” said Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor and former ambassador to China.

Perry video batters Romney with healthcare

In his latest campaign video, Texas Governor Rick Perry takes direct aim at Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney over healthcare.

The video casts the former Massachusetts governor as a mirror image of President Barack Obama when it comes to the federal healthcare overhaul, which conservatives deride as “Obamacare.”

Obamacare morphs into “Romneycare” in the video, which links the Republican frontrunner to the Democratic president’s plan.

Team Bachmann lays out “Path to Victory”

From victory in the Iowa straw poll to lesser rival in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Michele Bachmann may be down but don’t count her out.

The Minnesota Representative is right on track on her “Path to Victory” that began with her win in Iowa, Team Bachmann Campaign Manager Keith Nahigian says in a video outlining the campaign strategy.

From Iowa, the campaign’s path to the nomination winds through New Hampshire and South Carolina, the crucial early states in the presidential primary races.

Perry still leads Republican pack – CNN/ORC poll

Rick Perry is still the front-runner in the field of 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls, according to a new CNN/ORC International Poll released on Monday.

The Texas governor’s latest debate performance — rated shaky by some political analysts — apparently did not disappoint actual potential voters who support him.

Perry leads his nearest opponent, Mitt Romney 28 percent to 21 percent among Republican voters, according to the poll taken over the weekend — after last Thursday’s Republican debate in Orlando, Florida.

Netanyahu on Obama ties: Under the bus? What bus?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to take the bait on Sunday when asked if he agreed with Republican presidential candidates that President Barack Obama is not pro-Israel enough.

He was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s recent comment that the Democratic president “threw Israel under the bus.”

“You are trying to throw me under the bus of American politics and, guess what, I’m not going to be thrown there,” Netanyahu joked.