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York: Perry locked, loaded for Thursday's debate
Washington Examiner ^ | 9/19/11 | Byron York

Posted on 09/20/2011 5:32:09 AM PDT by markomalley

Thursday's Republican presidential debate in Orlando will be a key moment for Rick Perry. The newness is off the Texas governor's candidacy, and his support has leveled off and even slipped a bit in some recent polls.

Perry received mostly good reviews from his debate debut, at the Reagan Library on Sept. 7, but less positive notices after his second outing at the CNN debate in Tampa, Fla., on Sept. 12. How he performs in the rubber match in Orlando, put on by Fox News, Google and the Republican Party of Florida, will provide an important directional signal: Is Perry moving up, or down?

After Tampa, some critics suggested Perry should put in some extra study time before the next debate. But sources in the Perry camp say he's approaching this one in "essentially the same way" as previous sessions. Preparing for Perry's first debate, his staff put him behind a podium for a mock session, to get a feel for the timing and flow and the sheer strangeness of standing on stage with seven other candidates. Now, Perry's debate prep is mostly small group discussions.

Ask the Perry camp about the Social Security "Ponzi scheme" issue and you'll get a confident response. Although Perry has quietly backed away from his most incendiary words on Social Security -- in the last debate, he said "Ponzi scheme" only to observe that others had also used the phrase -- Team Perry feels confident he has the upper hand on Mitt Romney.

Perry's aides know that most Republicans, even if they think "Ponzi scheme" is over the top, agree with Perry (along with Romney and other GOP candidates) that Social Security needs serious reform. But they also know that how you say it matters, and Romney seems to come at Perry from a Democratic perspective, which is not exactly an advantage in a GOP debate. "Romney ends up sounding like Harry Reid or the DNC when he makes those attacks," says the Perry source.

As for the other issue that dominated the last debate, Perry's camp thinks the HPV vaccine controversy is mostly over. "From our standpoint, it has been thoroughly vetted and exhausted and is not a timely issue," says the source. Other candidates might disagree, but it is true that the vaccine issue a) has been discussed at length, b) is probably no longer an advantage for Michele Bachmann after her wild speculation about HPV, and c) has been neutralized by Perry's clear statement that he regrets handling the matter the way he did.

That regret was a big deal for the ultra-confident Perry. Asked for any comparable mea culpas that the Texas governor has issued in recent years, the campaign source couldn't think of any.

One area in which Team Perry expects more attacks is immigration. Even with two previous debates, the issue hasn't received a full airing, and there will be candidates, probably led by Romney, who will hit Perry on his opposition to a border fence and E-Verify, as well as his support for in-state tuition for illegals and a guest-worker program. Perry's aides know that a significant number of Republican voters oppose his positions, but they believe he can defend himself with the credibility of a border state governor -- and that he can also attack Romney as inconsistent. "Like many of the issues that Romney focuses on, he has had multiple positions, and that's certainly fair game," says the Perry source. If the battle is joined, immigration could be the fireworks topic of the night.

For Perry, each high-profile appearance is particularly important because many voters, even Republican primary voters, don't really know him. In a recent New York Times poll, 28 percent of GOP primary voters said they didn't know enough about Perry to have an opinion of him, and 17 percent more said they were undecided. Put them together, and that's nearly half the GOP primary electorate that needs to learn more about Perry. Each debate gives those voters more information on which to judge him.

The question is whether Perry will expand his support or diminish it. "A new person in the race, be it Bachmann or Perry, can get a great head of steam, and a lot of enthusiasm, because everybody wants a perfect candidate and they think this might be that person," says a well-connected GOP insider not affiliated with any campaign. "But soon they realize that the person they put on the pedestal, like everybody else, has some flaws. That's what's happening with Perry. He has some vulnerabilities."

Those are now becoming clearer. Thursday night will help determine just where Perry's campaign is going.


TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012debates; byronyork; fl2012; perry; perry2012

1 posted on 09/20/2011 5:32:13 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley; Al B.; onyx; sarah fan UK; Brices Crossroads; rintense; winoneforthegipper

“Locked and loaded?” I thought that gun-related rhetoric and imagery was verboten in light of Tucson. It is apparently for Sarah Palin, but not Rick Perry?


2 posted on 09/20/2011 5:35:23 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: markomalley

The candidates should criticize Obama
including his ineligibility.

Wanna bet one of the candidates will defend the pRes_ _ent?


3 posted on 09/20/2011 5:39:19 AM PDT by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: markomalley

The candidates should criticize Obama
including his penchant for OPEN BORDERS.

Wanna bet one of the candidates will defend the pRes_ _ent?


4 posted on 09/20/2011 5:40:10 AM PDT by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: markomalley

The candidates should criticize Obama
including his penchant for helping terrorist countries.

Wanna bet two of the candidates will defend the pRes_ _ent?


5 posted on 09/20/2011 5:41:08 AM PDT by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: All

York and his stupid “submission” question, in a previous debate.

York is just trying to set high expectation for Perry to favor his boy, Mitt. York is a RINO I’ll never take seriously again after the “submission” question.


6 posted on 09/20/2011 5:42:41 AM PDT by rbmillerjr (Beware of PaulBots tearing down good conservatives - they are deceptive weasels.)
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To: rbmillerjr
My first question to Romney if I were the moderator...

Governor Romney, as Massachusetts governor you signed an executive order to state agencies to implement homosexual marriage in Massachusetts, as president what would you do in regards to Dont Ask Dont Tell?

This is the kind of questions Perry has been getting, and if Romney gets just a couple of them he is toast.

7 posted on 09/20/2011 5:56:13 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Rick Perry 2012 !)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
I thought that gun-related rhetoric and imagery was verboten in light of Tucson.

Yes, the Democrats did argue that. What's your point?

8 posted on 09/20/2011 5:56:57 AM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (Palin or Perry, whoever is ahead in the delegate count on primary day)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

RINO Republicans argued that too. More double standard.


9 posted on 09/20/2011 5:58:52 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Governor Romney ... in addition to being considered the “Father of the Homosexual marriage movement” you also have in the past stated your support for federally funded abortions, where do you stand on this issue now that you are running for the Republican nomination?


10 posted on 09/20/2011 6:07:23 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Rick Perry 2012 !)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Follow up question:

Governor Perry, How do you feel about Governor Romney’s past support of federally funded abortions? and his apparant flip flop on the issue now that he is running for the Republican nomination?


11 posted on 09/20/2011 6:10:17 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Rick Perry 2012 !)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Important debate, let’s see how sexist Fox can get this time....lol


12 posted on 09/20/2011 6:10:17 AM PDT by winoneforthegipper ("If you can't ride two horses at once, you probably shouldn't be in the circus" - SP)
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To: rbmillerjr
York is a RINO I’ll never take seriously again after the “submission” question.

Nonsense. Bachmann said she submits to her husband. It's perfectly logical and necessary to ask her what that means. And what evidence do you have that York is pro-Romney? Links?

13 posted on 09/20/2011 6:14:19 AM PDT by BfloGuy (Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: winoneforthegipper
Governor Perry and Representative Bachmann...

Prior to running for the Republican nomination, Governor Romney declared supporting the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban, and had been quoted as stating “We have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them.” What do you think of Governor Romney's support of stripping people of their 2nd amendment rights? and his apparent attempt to distance himself from those statements and positions now?

Mr Cain, what do you think about Romney's flip flops on all these important issues?

Representative Paul, what do you think of Romney attempts to take away our 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms?

THESE ARE THE KIND OF QUESTIONS I WANT TO SEE THROWN AT ROMNEY!

14 posted on 09/20/2011 6:18:48 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Rick Perry 2012 !)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Me not a romneybot....

I support your dislike!


15 posted on 09/20/2011 6:24:44 AM PDT by winoneforthegipper ("If you can't ride two horses at once, you probably shouldn't be in the circus" - SP)
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To: shield

Perry ping


16 posted on 09/20/2011 6:27:38 AM PDT by Clairity ("The United States needs to be not so much loved as it needs to be respected." -- VP Dick Cheney)
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To: winoneforthegipper

Sorry, I wasn’t attacking you :) I was just posting in general frustration with the pass Romney is getting at these debates compared to the grilling Perry is receiving.


17 posted on 09/20/2011 6:28:04 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Rick Perry 2012 !)
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To: markomalley

Yawn and double yawn.


18 posted on 09/20/2011 6:31:16 AM PDT by dools0007world
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Yeah I got your meaning after I read it again....it’s all good!


19 posted on 09/20/2011 6:38:10 AM PDT by winoneforthegipper ("If you can't ride two horses at once, you probably shouldn't be in the circus" - SP)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Considering the fact that the last debate...those debaters were given all the questions to attack Perry. Those who’d attack him were given the most questions. QUESTIONS ALL DESIGNED TO ATTACK PERRY....any dumb arses that couldn’t see this for what it was are idiots.


20 posted on 09/20/2011 6:42:09 AM PDT by shield (Rev 2:9 Woe unto those who say they are Judahites and are not, but are of the syna GOG ue of Satan.)
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To: shield

That’s exactly what I was trying to point out with the questions for Romney I just posted.


21 posted on 09/20/2011 6:45:29 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Rick Perry 2012 !)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
RINO Republicans argued that too. More double standard.

I guess I missed that. Did Byron York make this argument? If so, I agree -- double standard.

22 posted on 09/20/2011 8:07:58 AM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (Palin or Perry, whoever is ahead in the delegate count on primary day)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Perry can’t do that. Romney would counter with, “support for federally funded abortion didn’t seem to be a factor, Rick, when you supported Rooty”.


23 posted on 09/20/2011 8:18:53 AM PDT by dforest
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