Political analyst John Fund tells Newsmax that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be a “significant entry” into the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination and could overtake “weak front-runner” Mitt Romney.
Following the triumph of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans in recall elections on Tuesday, Fund — senior editor of American Spectator — was asked whether Walker is now “presidential timber.”
“With the [expected] entry of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas in the race, I think the presidential field is set,” Fund responds.
“Governor Walker certainly has some successes under his belt, but the earliest we can talk about somebody else entering the presidential field is probably 2016 or 2020.
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“The straw poll in Iowa is Saturday. Perry is not on the ballot, so he has a perfect excuse if he doesn’t do well. He is a write-in candidate. If he does fairly well he has a perfect reason to say there’s a flurry of support for me even though I wasn’t on the ballot.
"Romney is the front-runner, but Romney's a weak front-runner, and I think Governor Perry is going to be a substantial and significant entry into the race."
Fund pointed to Perry’s excellent record in job creation and noted that he has strong support from tea party and evangelical voters, although he acknowledged that some Republicans might be “tired of Texas governors because of the last experience we had with one.”
Rep. Michele Bachmann has done very well as a White House candidate, Fund says, “but she has been demonized by the media and her positions have been portrayed as far more extreme than perhaps they are.”
She will have a difficult time getting all the way through to the nomination, he adds, but could very well position herself as a vice presidential candidate.
Fund also states that “any competent Republican” has a strong chance of defeating President Obama in 2012 because of the weak economy and high unemployment rate.
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