In a peculiar move, having spent the morning at a low-stress event in Conway, South Carolina, Governor Rick Perry skipped the 3PM confrontation with his rivals for the GOP Presidential nomination and returned to Texas for a photo-op session back dropped by the wildfires there. (Perry to skip DeMint forum Shawna Shepherd CNN Politics September 5, 2011)
If it was so important for Perry to be in Texas, why did he stay for the first event? Would a few hours more have made such a difference?
The likely reason is that Perry’s handlers thought The New Republic was right: Has the Tea Party Set a Trap for Rick Perry in South Carolina? ByEd Kilgore, September 1, 2011:
"It’s well known that Perry’s record and positions on immigration represent the one glaring area where he’s significantly out of step with conservative orthodoxy. He has, after all, consistently supported a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for undocumented workers…by any measure, this is his Achilles heel when it comes to conservative ideological litmus tests…
So it’s well worth noting that the co-inquisitor who will be sitting next to Jim DeMint…at the Palmetto Freedom Forum event on Labor Day will be none other than Tancredo’s successor as Congress’ preeminent anti-immigration agitator, Representative Steve King of Iowa. King, whose views on the subject are so extreme that he was denied the chairmanship of a House subcommittee on immigration despite being its senior member, can hardly be expected to pass up an opportunity to bash Perry’s record in the forum’s one-on-one questioning format. And he may have an additional motive to highlight Perry’s heresies: His closest friend in Congress, now that Tancredo is gone, is Michele Bachmann. In fact, King has not made an endorsement in the presidential race up until now because he wanted to be able to participate in this weekend’s event."
There seems to be an unspoken taboo slavishly obeyed by GOP candidates against mentioning immigration, so without someone like King (or some patriotic citizen) around, Perry will very likely escape in future debates (unless Michelle Bachman freed of the deadening hand of Ed Rollins, comes back to life).
I see Angry White Dude has declared against his fellow Texan: RINO RICK PERRY – DON’T FENCE ILLEGALS IN...OR OUT!
" Does the R in Rick also stand for RINO? Right on! The RINOsity of Perry emerges more each day. Today in the form of his amor with illegal aliens! Perry has jumped to the forefront of Republican presidential candidates by taking credit for the strong economic performance of Texas that he had little to do with. If Perry is going to take credit for the good in Texas, he must also answer for nearly doubling the size and cost of government! Like George Bush, Perry talks a big conservative game but, in reality, is a moderate, big-government loving RINO. Ask most tea party members in Texas and they will tell you Perry is all hat, no cattle."
The immediate cause was Perry’s ominous sneering at fencing the Border. AWD concludes
"I knew he the RINO would emerge sooner or later on the campaign trail. Like I have been telling anyone who asked, “if you liked W, you’ll love Perry!”
Perry loves to act like the big, tough Texan. He’s merely another Bush/McCain… He’s a phony... Maybe Perry should start appearing at campaign stops dressed as Roy Rogers and sing “Don’t Fence ‘Em Out!”"