Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s incendiary remarks on the campaign trail give way to a softer side when he meets with donors. Perry, who has called President Barack Obama “an abject liar” and a “socialist,” tones it down on the fundraising circuit, The Washington Post
“Behind the scenes in meetings with wealthy donors, Perry has struck a far more measured tone, according to participants in several recent events,” the Post reported. “He emphasizes his ability to appeal to independents, Latinos and other voters necessary to win the White House and notes that he has complimented Obama for actions he considers favorable, such as killing Osama bin Laden.”
The softer, gentler Perry is an attempt to balance his appeal to the tea party with the need to attract donations from those not as conservative and to catch up to rival Mitt Romney’s prodigious fund-raising abilities.
The former Massachusetts governor has pulled in more than $18 million so far with much of it coming from Wall Street and corporate funders who worry that Perry’s aggressive style might not play well in a general election, the Post reported.
Perry supporters acknowledge the unease. “There are definitely people who want to see more fleshing out of the governor’s statements,” Bill Diamond, who held a fundraiser for Perry, told the Post.
Romney backer and GOP fundraiser Brian Ballard said the message with donors is electability. “It’s what we need to win the election, and Governor Romney is clearly the best person to do that,” Ballard told the Post. “You know what you’ve got. He looks and comes across as presidential.”
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