Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry admitted Tuesday that money is tight in his campaign, but insisted to CNN that the race "isn't about who's going to have the most money to buy the presidency."
"We've always had this early stage strategy," Perry told CNN "New Day" host Alisyn Camerota. "We can keep a pretty small footprint from the standpoint of dollars going out. So we had a good fundraising week last week and we'll go forward with that."
Story continues below video.
But that means being able to operate in the vital early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina on a "fairly small budget relative to maybe some of these other campaigns," and that includes not being able to pay his campaign staff as of last week.
"We've got a lot of young people that are volunteering for us, and I greatly appreciate their commitment to the cause," Perry said. "As the dollars come in, we'll appropriately take care of those that are working with us on a paid status."
And, he said, "this is about who's got the best ideas and the record, and whether it's the job creation record or wearing the uniform of the country, or whether it's knowing how to secure the border of this country with Mexico. That's what people really care about."
Last week, CNN reported
that Perry had stopped paying his campaign staff, including in the key early voting states.
Along with Perry's finances, his poll numbers are also falling. In a CNN/ORC poll
released earlier Tuesday, he got just 2 percent among Republicans and right-leaning independents.
Perry's money woes are also leading strategists to believe he will be the first to drop out of the 2016 race, a Politico insiders' panel
said last week.
The top strategists, activists and operatives
in Iowa and New Hampshire are saying Perry's attempts to rehabilitate his image are failing, and 40 percent of Republicans and nearly half of Democrats think he is on the verge of leaving the field.
However, the last time Perry sought presidential office in the 2011 race, he was near the top of the list, Cuomo pointed out, with 27 percent of the voters.
Perry pointed out that in 2007, at the same period, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was leading the pack, and told Cuomo that at this stage, the wise strategy is to spend time in the early states and create infrastructure.
And when that happens, he said, "not only will the money flow in for you to finish up the effort, but you'll do quite well."
Perry said he's pointing to his experience as governor of a state with the "12th largest economy in the world" in his campaign, rather than flash and style.
"Are we going to take a chance on another young and inexperienced senator like Barack Obama, who's got our country offtrack, I think, economically and policy-wise as well," said Perry.
Perry also on Tuesday discussed his stance on equal pay, which is getting some scrutiny because he had vetoed a Texas equal pay bill while governor.
"This was a piece of legislation that basically duplicated what's at the federal level," said Perry, who pointed out he agrees with equal pay for women. "In the state of Texas we think it's kind of wise not to have too many laws on the books ... we don't need symbolic pieces of legislation jumbling up our code."
But, he said, while he was governor there were more than a million women with jobs in his state, and "women have the opportunity to excel."
He also noted that he appointed "the first Latina that was on the Supreme Court, I appointed the first Latina to be the secretary of state of Texas. The record is unparalleled from the standpoint of supporting women in the state of Texas. And it will be that way as the president of the United States."
And even though Perry last week called front-runner Donald Trump's candidacy "a cancer on conservatism," he did not bash the real estate mogul on Tuesday.
"I don't know about Donald Trump," said Perry. "I can only talk to you about myself. I've been a Washington outsider my entire life. I've been fighting Washington for the last 14 years."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.