As Rick Perry gears up for a presidential bid, Democrats also are making preparations, dusting off years of opposition research, sharpening attack points, designing anti-Perry websites and, for the most part, awaiting his entry with more eagerness than anxiety.
They say they’re not trying to tip the GOP primary. But in seeking to tar Perry as a flawed extremist, they want to ensure that as voters beyond Texas get to know him, he won’t be able to shake that image.
“He has a pretty poor record as governor of Texas on a lot of measures — on wage growth, on job growth, on health care,” said Bill Burton, head of a new pro-Obama political action committee, Priorities USA, and until recently the deputy White House press secretary.
Democratic operatives outside Austin are also scouring Perry’s record.
Last week, American Bridge 21st Century — a liberal PAC formed to raise and spend unlimited money in the 2012 elections — flagged a new report that Texas had 86 mass layoffs in June, up from 50 in May, with a substantial uptick in initial jobless claims.
“Rick Perry is the flavor of month” in a “weak, uninspiring field” of Republicans, said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge. “Once the American people realize that his economic record as governor is based on smoke and mirrors, and his social record is miles out of the mainstream, his campaign will become an historical footnote just like Fred Thompson’s and Rudy Giuliani’s.”
Published: Aug 2, 2011