Texas Gov. Rick Perry is emerging as one of the Republican frontrunners for the 2016 presidential race, according to Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media.
Ruddy, appearing on CNBC's ‘The Kudlow Report’
Tuesday, agreed with Larry Kudlow that mistakes Perry made during his 2012 presidential run have been forgiven.
"Absolutely. First of all Americans are very forgiving. They'll judge him on his record," Ruddy said."He did screw up by his own admission, there were apparently … some health issues."
But Ruddy said Perry's "great" and "tremendous" record as governor of the Lone Star State is a big plus for another run for the White House.
"He also is a forward-thinking Republican. He reaches out. He's done a tremendous job there, so I think Americans will gravitate to him," Ruddy said."He would be one of the front runners. I think the polling data shows that he is."
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Perry announced on January 19, 2012, that he was dropping out of the 2012 presidential race.
Published reports revealed he was suffering from a previously undiagnosed sleeping disorder called sleep apnea.
Perry also got into hot water with the release of a video in which he stated "there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."
Also on the Kudlow panel was former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean who criticized what he believes is a lackluster performance by Perry in Texas.
Dean said Texas had a dismal education record and a high rate of children and adults who don't have healthcare. Dean also complained that most of the jobs Perry has brought into Texas are low-wage positions.
"If things are so bad in Texas, why is it one million new taxpayers went to Texas, one million new taxpayers went to Florida, and one and a half million taxpayers left the state of California," Ruddy said.
"People can't pay for these services, they can't pay for big government. They're voting with their feet. That's what the public is saying.
"The country is changing. Blue states are staying blue," Ruddy added later. "And red states like Florida and Texas are becoming bluer on the way to becoming blue," he said. "The answer is not to become like the blue states, which all have low economic growth, where people are leaving. The tax base is fleeing. The answer is to take those very good states that are low tax states, improve them, and reach out, figure out ways to cover people with insurance."
Kudlow said Perry "is sensitive" to immigration reform, an issue "the GOP cannot win without." Despite the schism on immigration among Republicans, Perry would move the party toward reform, he said. Ruddy agreed the GOP "should become the party of immigration."
"We're the party of Lincoln, the party of inclusion," he said. "We want legal immigration. And I think many of the illegals that are here, I think we want to have a situation where they pay taxes.
"I think that there should be some status, not necessarily citizenship, and I think Rick Perry gets it. That the future of the Republican Party is bringing people in."
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