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Perry in SC Day 10: The Battle Against the 2-Percenters
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Texas Gov. Rick Perry continues to attract good crowds and connect with South Carolina. But some are telling us to give up the fight. They want us to move on, to... Gingrich! These people, I say are the Two Percenters of the Conservative movement!
But before I explain, here's the news from along the campaign trail. Perry made several stops yesterday. Here's the map:
Murrells Inlet, SC
This was a speech at a VFW hall, and Perry brought all the red meat for veterans' groups he could haul in.
Crowd of 50 people listened to Perry talk about job creation, the economy and the military- highlighting his status as an Air Force veteran.
Perry said if elected president he'd give certain exemptions to wounded veterans. "If the DOD(Department of Defense) has designated you as an individual who was wounded during service of the United States," said Perry, "you get a five year exemption of paying any personal income tax in this country. That's sending the message that will last longer than a parade."
Rebecca Kaplan at CBS News adds:
Perry often talks about the need to improve support for veterans in the United States, especially as he has increasingly focused on South Carolina, where 11 percent of the population is made up of military veterans. He points to initiatives he ushered through in Texas, including a 2009 law that exempts disabled veterans from paying property taxes.
(On a personal note, everything Perry is saying about vets and providing benefits for vets is genuine. I am a 20-year vet (USAF bomber pilot), and through Texas law that Perry signed, my child can go to college tuition-free, using my Veterans Administration eligibility. With so much talk about in-state tuition "subsidies" for illegal immigrants, which are NOT subsidies, no one has examined Perry's record on providing REAL subsidies for veterans who earned it.)
You can watch the entire one-hour presentation by Rick Perry here:
Perry defends his remarks on NATO ally Turkey:
"When you see the number of actions against your citizens that we would consider to be terrorist acts, I stand by my statement," Perry told reporters at a press conference today. Perry pointed to the increased rate of attacks on women and concluded, "I respect his sovereign right to say that but I respect my sovereign right to be critical of countries that treat their citizens that way."
In case you missed it, here's where the Turkey controversy began, at the Fox News debate Monday night:
In defense of Rick Perry's remarks on Turkey, here's a view (via a pro-Israel blogger, Don Morris) that you won't find in the U.S. press:
So no sooner did Rick Perry suggest that Turkey had no place in NATO and that some perceive its government to be run by Islamic terrorists than the media rolled out its fact checks. In the spirit of fact checking the fact checkers, let's have a fact check of our own.
CNN Statement: "Turkey is not ruled by Islamic terrorists. It is led by a party with Islamist roots, the Justice and Freedom Party, or AKP."
Those are the facts according to CNN's Truth Squad, which took its name from a certain book by George Orwell. But let's look at the actual facts. The Facts: The AKP emerged out of a series of banned Islamist political movements. CNN's Lie Squad mentions that the AKP's current leader of Turkey Erdogan was banned for reading an Islamic poem in public. It neglects to mention the content of the poem.
"The minarets are our bayonets; the domes are our helmets. Mosques are our barracks, the believers are soldiers. This holy army guards my religion. Almighty, Our journey is our destiny, the end is martyrdom."
[Dr. Don Morris is a semi-retired professor, now also permanent resident of Israel. He serves on several Boards of Directors for Israel advocacy groups; Chana, resident of Jerusalem, JCPA member]
And CNN's "Blitz" grilled Perry on Turkey yesterday:
About the time Perry was touring Florence, a blog post written by Perry himself appeared on RedState. An excerpt:
Shrinking the powers and the footprint of the federal government and Washington insiders will also involve establishing a part-time Congress, cutting congressional sessions, and bringing staff numbers and salaries down by 50 percent. Congress will be more like everybody else, and less like the body that earns a stunning 84 percent disapproval number from those of us who, unlike them, must live under and with the laws they pass every day.
Rick Perry is sending out mailers that are "hitting his two main rivals hard," according to CNN:
Rick Perry's campaign is sending a new mailer to South Carolina voters hitting his two main rivals for the conservative vote, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, as "Washington insiders."
The mailer is one of several that the Perry campaign is sending to South Carolina voters on Wednesday, just three days before the January
Perry spoke at the BIPEC South Carolina Candidates' Forum yesterday evening:
"im running for the presidency of the united states to consolidate or I should say, the power back into the states... to de-consolidate if you will, from decentralize from washington dc as I said in charleston when I announced that my intention is to make Washington dc as inconsequential in your life as I can. I do not believe that federal government creates jobs. its duty is to create an environment where job creators know that they can risk their capitol and have a chance to have a return on their investment and they in turn create those jobs..."
This stop wasn't on the schedule yesterday. Perry made a surprise appearance at The Response Carolina, an apolitical prayer gathering:
ABC News' Arlette Saenz captures the moment:
Standing before a crowd of nearly a thousand people, Texas Gov. Rick Perry publicly offered up a prayer for the nation four days before the South Carolina primary, just as he did five months ago at a similar prayer rally in Houston, as he decided whether he’d enter the presidential race.
Rick Perry Report Goes Rogue on Two-Percenter Pundits
Yesterday many of these pundits around the country publicly called upon Perry to drop out of the South Carolina primary race so that they could anoint Newt Gingrich as the savior of the conservative movement.
The one making the biggest impact was Sarah Palin, on Hannity last night:
My response: Sarah Palin cannot even endorse herself for anything other than reality television shows. She has shown me to be high to rhetoric and low on substance for too long. In the segment on Hannity last night, she cannot even bring herself to fully endorse Newt Gingrich. She just endorses Gingrich in a compartmentalized way. What kind of endorsement is that?
Next, FreeRepublic's Jim Robinson piled on:
Like it or not, the trend has been clear for weeks. If we wish a conservative to be our nominee, Perry should drop out of the race and we should coalesce around Gingrich or Santorum. As long as all three or even two of the three remain in the race the conservative vote will be split and RINO Romney will get the nomination.
Gingrich should challenge Santorum to a series of Lincoln-Douglas style one-on-one debates and if there is a clear winner, then the loser should drop out, or in the very least, we may be able to better decide which one is better suited to take on Romney and Obama.
May our very best conservative take on and defeat Romney/Paul and then wipe out Obama!!
Jim Robinson's website FreeRepublic.com is the organizing organ of the fringe right attacks on Rick Perry since Perry announced his candidacy. Robinson has waffled along, allowing the entire state of Texas to defect from his site's donor rolls, 'zotting' membership and cleansing the "unwashed" along the way.
He was hoping for a Palin presidency, then Herman Cain, and now Gingrich? Robinson waffles on his choice of candidate more than Romney did on the abortion issue, and cannot muster enough gravitas to inspect the character of his presidential choices.
Why do people follow him? They don't. The site has been mired in endless "Freep-a-thon" fundraisers because, frankly, donors quit donating as he allowed the endless ad hominem attacks on, particularly, Rick Perry, and Texas in general. Texas was his largest-producing well of donations. I hope that's no longer. Let the site die.
The unofficial online gathering spot for Perry advocates other than the Facebook groups has been RedState.com. Erick Erickson's RedState has been very good to Rick Perry. They have published his editorials, they do an excellent job of running off trolls who spread vicious lies about Perry, and RedState's blogger convention was the location of Perry's candidacy announcement in August 2011.
Erickson has been complimentary of Perry all along, though like Palin, he could not bring himself to make a full endorsement earlier in the campaign. That is, he would not drive a stake into the ground and take a stand.
This morning, I was hit with this, from Erickson:
With Palin’s endorsement, Rick Perry is now in a terribly awkward spot. If he departs before Saturday, he could be a hero for one of the non-Romney candidates. If he waits until Sunday and the race is close, as it appears to be, Rick Perry will rightly be remembered as the spoiler who handed Mitt Romney the nomination.
Erickson is welcome to become the "me-too" pundit of the 2012 election, but I'm going to offer advice.
How can Erickson go from a half year of informing his readers that Perry is the best choice, has the best platform, and have almost your entire blogger community endorse Perry, only to tell your readers "oops, Palin has spoken, and I think she's right"?
When you're coaching football, you never go into a game telling your team, "well, if we can just lose to the Indians and preserve their strength so that the Indians can beat the Cowboys later... Because, really, we don't want the Cowboys to win"?
RedState readers are the warriors of the conservatives, and most are warriors of the Perry conservative movement. I know Erickson didn't sign up for "coach," but Erickson has been acting like the coach for too long to just give in.
At Texas A&M, we call Aggies who think like that "Two Percenters." That is, they haven't the fortitude to support the team, win or lose, until the end of the game. These are the two percent of all of the others; the ones who quit. They're the ones running to the parking lot at the beginning of the fourth quarter to beat the traffic. Erick, Jim Robinson is a soul-less two-percenter; you are not a two-percenter, so quit acting like one.
The RedState audience also needs to be considered. They've invested time and energy, and in many cases, money, into Perry's campaign. Some even spent vacation days and drove to Iowa on their own dime to support Perry. RedState readers are phone-banking from their homes for the South Carolina effort. Many of Erick's readers are all in this thing with BLOOD.
To call for RedState readers who do support Perry to turn on a dime, to abandon their principled stand, and investment, is insulting. More insulting is in Erick's Palinesque endorsement of Gingrich, he offered absolutely nothing to Perry supporters in return for their abandoning the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
I'll stay to the end, even if I have to drive in traffic. The rest of you can follow Palin, Robinson, Erickson, et.al. out of the bleachers into the parking lot and live with this:
Look, I love Newt Gingrich. I've enjoyed his books. I look forward to his weekly "Newt and Callista Weekly Recap" emails (haha), and I was cheering from my armchair Monday night when Gingrich absolutely brought the house down. I like to watch him on television. He's great entertainment.
But, in this case, the Romney ad above is right. He is not a leader that we need in the White House.
Rick Perry is the proven leader, the one with proven executive experience, who can whip that place into shape. That's where I make a principled stand.
Rick Perry agrees:
I am not ready to abandon my candidate, and the promise that he holds for my future, in the fourth quarter just so I can miss the traffic.
I'm defending the stake I laid in the ground. If you agree, send Rick Perry a $10 bill right now. We're all in this together!
Arlette Saenz gets the link. Picture: Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his son Griffin.
Read more about it at abcnews.go.com