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Rick Perry Revs Up Campaign for 2016

By    |   Friday, 28 Nov 2014 09:33 PM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will spend his last month in office meeting with more than 500 major GOP bundlers and donors in December as he takes the first steps toward building a foundation for a 2016 presidential campaign, kicking off the first of the small-group sessions next week in Austin, organizers have confirmed.

Lunches and dinners are planned to start at the governor's mansion on Tuesday and Wednesday, reports Politico.  But while Perry has been able to attract support for his state races from Texas' wealthy donors, he may face trouble this time around not only from other potential candidates with powerful ties, but also in downplaying his own troubled record.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose political family has deep ties in Texas, and Sen. Ted Cruz, who is a popular, but polarizing figure in the state and around the country, could give Perry a run for the Texas money when it comes to a national race. Bush has been meeting with Texas donors in recent months, Politico reports.

Perry also faces problems after his failed 2012 presidential campaign. After his troubled debate performances and speeches that brought criticism from the business community, he eventually dropped out of the race after coming in fifth in the Iowa caucuses.

And even after he left the campaign, Perry alienated Republicans even more by backing Newt Gingrich over party favorite and eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Perry is also facing public corruption charges, filed by a Texas district attorney's office after he refused financing it when the DA refused to step down following a conviction for driving under the influence. While he insists the charges were filed for political retribution, they still loom over his potential presidential candidacy.

The outgoing governor is leaving office in January, when his successor, Republican Gov.-Elect Greg Abbott will be sworn in. He admits to making many mistakes in 2012, saying he was unprepared when he got into the race just six weeks after undergoing back surgery.

But sources said this time he will be a better candidate than in 2012, and will explain the changes during his donor meetings next month.

“If Gov. Perry is going to run, he’s going to be better prepared, and he’s going to have the resources necessary to compete,” said Republican national committeeman Henry Barbour, who is helping to plan for a potential Perry campaign and is organizing the donor sessions in Austin next week.

An additional four or five sessions are also planned next month, along with briefings at the office of Perry's senior adviser, Jeff Miller. Those policy briefings will feature policy experts from organizations such as the Hoover Institution and the American Enterprise Institute.

But some of the major donors who supported Perry in 2012 told Politico they are skeptical about supporting him again in 2016.

“I’m a huge fan of Gov. Perry’s and would do whatever I could to help, but other stars have emerged in the party, and I want to hear what they have to say,” said GOP lobbyist Matt Keelen, mentioning Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as being interesting possibilities.

But another lobbyist, speaking anonymously, said Perry "ran a crummy campaign in 2012" and is not showing that 2016 will be any better.

“None of the D.C. lobbyist crowd who were supporting Perry in 2012 are planning to support him this cycle...he is a good guy, but Perry's time has passed," said the lobbyist, who told Politico he is considering to support Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or Scott Walker of Wisconsin if they run.

Another GOP bundler said he is waiting to see if Bush runs, and if he doesn't, "I think it'll be time for a new generation."

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry will spend his last month in office meeting with more than 500 major GOP bundlers and donors in December as he takes the first steps toward building a foundation for a 2016 presidential campaign, kicking off the first of the small-group sessions next...
perry, revs, up, campaigns
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Friday, 28 Nov 2014 09:33 PM
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