Can Rick Perry make a comeback?
Rick Perry's debate performance this week was universally panned, even by conservatives. Now, he's pushing his "authenticity" versus the "slickness" of his main Republican rival Mitt Romney.
It’s been a rough few days for Rick Perry.Skip to next paragraph
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His performance in Thursday night’s debate among Republican presidential hopefuls was universally panned.
“No front-runner in a presidential field has ever, we imagine, had as weak a showing as Rick Perry,” he wrote the morning after. “It was close to a disqualifying two hours for him.”
“Any random high schooler at the CPAC [Conservative Political Action Conference] in Washington could have done better than this,” she wrote. “If this is how Perry’s going to take Obama on in debates, we’re in trouble.”
So does this open the way for Mitt Romney, who by most accounts did very well at the Orlando debate?
At times, Romney tried to sound like the most ardent tea partyer – especially when he went after Perry’s granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants enrolled at Texas colleges and universities.
But it depends on whether the tea party movement, which (philosophically, at least) is more in tune with Perry’s rhetoric, could ever see its way to support a former governor of liberal Massachusetts who enacted a health care law with an individual mandate.
There are differences of opinion about that.
“I don’t care if Perry is soft on immigration and tried to mandate a vaccination through executive order,” declares Tim Griffin at the conservative RedState web site. “Romney is the father of socialized medicine in America!”