80.2 F
Fort Worth
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Government Skeptics aside, Texas' Perry marching toward 2016

Skeptics aside, Texas’ Perry marching toward 2016

Other News

Exxon’s oil slick

Exxon Mobil is slashing its capital spending budget for 2020 by 30% due to weak demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a market...

Folk music’s Mark Twain: 7 Essential tracks from John Prine,

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people, the songs just come out of them. For nearly half a century, they tumbled out of John Prine...

Tarrant County records another COVID-19 death

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) on Wednesday, April 8 reported that a resident of Euless has died as the result of the COVID-19 virus....

Tradition stymied: A year unlike any since WWII for Augusta

The Masters is so intertwined with Augusta, they added an extra day to spring break.You see, the first full week of April isn't just...
Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

STEVE PEOPLES, Associated Press

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Republicans along New Hampshire’s seacoast once gave Rick Perry a rock star’s welcome, rallying behind the longtime Texas governor as a political savior destined to reclaim the White House for the GOP.

Today, there is perhaps no better place that illustrates Perry’s challenges as he works to resurrect his presidential ambitions.

“I wish him the best of luck if he tries to make a comeback,” said state Rep. Pam Tucker, who hosted Perry’s inaugural New Hampshire rally in her backyard and supported Perry “to the bitter end” in 2012, but wasn’t invited to join a small delegation of New Hampshire officials who met with Perry in Texas last month.

Asked about the governor’s new image, which includes dark-rimmed glasses that can’t help but create an intellectual look, Tucker said: “I don’t think a physical makeover is going to make any difference.”

Those close to Perry say he is aggressively eyeing a second presidential bid, even if he has to rebuild a political operation from scratch in the state that hosts the nation’s first presidential primary. As he begins to re-engage with New Hampshire voters during his first trip to the state since the 2012 election later this month, the Texas Republican faces deep skepticism and lingering embarrassment from some of those who were once among his biggest believers.

Perry will forever be remembered for his performance during one of the many GOP presidential debates in 2010, when he tried repeatedly — but failed — to name the third government agency he would eliminate as part of his budget plan. All he could come up with: “Oops.”

“Mistakes were made. You can’t hide from that,” said Perry adviser Mark Miner, previewing what could become a familiar talking point for a second Perry campaign. “But it’s a bigger issue that Washington and the politicians of Washington have forgotten how to govern than Gov. Perry forgetting a government agency two years ago.”

With chiseled good looks, the 64-year-old is the nation’s longest serving governor, having led a state since 2000 that can claim credit for much of the country’s recent job growth. He also has a unique ability to connect with voters one-on-one — a significant asset in the diners and living rooms of early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Perry has also emerged as a leading Republican voice in the immigration debate in recent weeks, having sent 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border to help handle an influx of young immigrants.

Major questions remain, however, about his ability to raise money among the party’s biggest donors, who are as skeptical in some cases as the New Hampshire voters he disappointed in 2012.

“He’s a very gifted politician,” said Ron Kaufman, a veteran of GOP presidential politics. “The trouble is, it’s always harder to rebuild than build. He’s certainly got some rebuilding to do.”

Perry briefly addressed his political strengths in a conference call with New Hampshire reporters last week when asked about the embarrassment that lingers among some former supporters.

“I’m pretty proud of what we’ve been able to do in Texas — whether it’s the creation of jobs, more so than any other state in the nation, or whether it’s filling a void when the federal government fails to do their constitutional responsibilities,” Perry said. “2016 will take care of itself when 2016 comes along.”

Perry is taking definite steps in that direction. For more than a year, he has been holding weekly meetings with experts on foreign and domestic policy — either in person or on the phone — to create what his advisers call “a fluency” in complicated topics.

He has also increased foreign and domestic travel with stops this year at World Economic Forum in Davos, the Jimmy Kimmel show and New York, Iowa and South Carolina in recent months. He visits New Hampshire on Aug. 22 and 23. And this fall, he makes another international swing that includes stops in China, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland and Croatia.

With the help of veteran Republican operative Henry Barbour, Perry has also begun hiring staff in key states to help prepare for a possible run. His travel and staffing is being paid by a nonprofit group, led by his chief political adviser, called Americans for Economic Freedom, which can raise and spend unlimited sums of money without disclosing its donors.

This week, Perry also created a political action committee that is designed, at least initially, to help elect other Republicans in the November midterms.

“They’ve done a spectacular job in relaunching,” said Dave Carney, who served as a senior adviser to Perry for much of his first run. “Rick Perry is an impressive person. He’s going to have to prove that again.”

Still, the skeptics are easy to find in New Hampshire, where Perry’s top state adviser from the 2012 campaign is among those who have moved on. A newly hired adviser, veteran operative Mike Dennehy, is working to connect Perry with a new group of business leaders and Republican activists — largely ignoring his previous team.

“This is an entirely new election, and it warrants an entirely new campaign — assuming he gets in,” Dennehy said.


Latest News

Tarrant County gets tough on DWI

Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Sharen Wilson announced Oct. 21 that Tarrant County now is No Refusal all the time.

Senate Judiciary Committee advances Barrett despite Dems’ boycott

By LISA MASCARO and MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans powered past a...

US officials link Iran to emails meant to intimidate voters

By ERIC TUCKER and FRANK BAJAK Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials accused Iran on Wednesday of being behind a flurry of...

Nonprofits invited to apply for $1.3 million in funding

From the City of Fort Worth: Social service agencies are invited to submit program proposals that will help...

Renderings released for Stop Six’s Cowan Place

Fort Worth Housing Solutions and development partner McCormack Baron Salazar have finalized architectural renderings for Cowan Place, the mixed-income, senior living community...