GOP Hopefuls Hone Their Attacks on Perry

Friday, 12 Aug 2011 08:31 AM

By Caroline Rawls

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Just one day before Texas Governor Rick Perry is set to announce his candidacy, the other Republican candidates have already chosen their offenses against him, reports The Ticket blog of Yahoo News.

Polls show that Perry will make great waves in the GOP field once he enters the race. A CNN/ORC poll released Thursday found Perry statistically tied with former Massachusetts Gov.  Mitt Romney to lead the primary race. This is causing concern among the other candidates.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum has been the most outspoken against Perry thus far by targeting the Texan’s flip-flop stance on gay marriage.

“When someone who is a serious candidate for president is doing things that will be destructive not just for the Republican Party, but for the country, I’m going to point that out any chance I get,” Santorum told Politico.

But Perry’s reversal on gay marriage is just one of the many attacks that rival campaigns are sure to unleash.

Some might look to Perry’s flirtation with secession. Though the governor has not officially endorsed a Texas secession from the union, he has seemingly left the door open. “If Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that?” Perry has said.

Others are sure to attack his flip-flop stance on immigration. Perry began his governorship with a moderate stance on immigration, advocating for a both a looser border and a law that ultimately served as the precursor to the hotly debated DREAM Act. He has since aligned his policy preferences more closely with that of the conservative right.

In a game of petty politics, other candidates will look to criticize the situation with Perry’s governor’s mansion. After the Texas mansion burned down, Perry moved into a rental that costs taxpayers $600,000 a month. The state has also paid for lavish window coverings and the maintenance of the governor’s heated pool.

Perhaps most dangerous to the Perry campaign is his Democratic past. Perry spent the first six years of his political campaign as a Democrat. In fact, he chaired Al Gore’s 1988 campaign.

Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has come out firing against Perry. “For all his newfound commitment to hyper-conservatism, he’ll get to explain why he supported pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage Rudy Giuliani last time,” Huckabee wrote in an email to supporters.

Still, some candidates believe the media hoopla over Perry to be unfounded. “He’s the flavor of the month,” an adviser to another GOP campaign told The Ticket. “What do we really know about him? He’s been treated with kid gloves so far.”

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