Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Will the real GOP establishment ever be comfortable with Rick Perry?

Rick Perry has been in the GOP presidential nomination sweepstakes for all of three days and he already looks like he might flame out quickly. It is possible that everyone was wrong about the quality of his political skills and that this guy was always going to be joke?

First he strongly suggests that President Obama doesn't love his country and that the men and women in uniform don't respect him. Then he calls Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke "almost treasonous" for adopting quantitative easing policy. Three days and he's making a complete ass of himself.

It's been widely reported that there is no love lost between the Bushies and Perry, but it's still interesting to watch the last crowd who knew how to win the White House land on the current Texas governor with both feet.

Here's Karl Rove on the Bernanke comment on Fox News:
It's his first time on the national stage, and it was a very unfortunate comment. You don't accuse the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of being a traitor to his country and being guilty of treason and suggesting that we "treat him pretty ugly in Texas" - that's not, again, a presidential statement... Governor Perry is going to have to fight the impression that he's a cowboy from Texas. This simply adds to it.

And former Bush White House official Pete Wehner writing in Commentary had this to say:
People shouldn't throw around the words "almost treasonous" loosely; and certainly a person running for president shouldn't do such a thing. To say someone is treasonous means he is a traitor to his country. In the long catalogue of crimes an individual can commit, there are not many that are worse than treason...[W]hat the Texas governor said about the Federal Reserve chairman is the kind of blustering, unthinking comment that Perry's critics expect of him. Why he would play to stereotype is hard to fathom. Or, perhaps he's simply being himself. We'll find out soon enough. In the meantime, Perry ought to offer a retraction and apology - then offer a serious intellectual critique of why he believes Ben Bernanke is pursuing injurious policies.

Interesting to me is Wehner's comment that when Perry screws up maybe he's "simply being himself." Seems like that's exactly what Wehner thinks. When Perry is just being Perry, it ain't pretty.

Maybe the point is that this is the first candidate spewing the Tea Party bile who may truly have a shot at the nomination and the Republican establishment is freaking out at the thought. Finally someone who could seriously challenge for the nomination while simultaneously alienating every independent voter in every swing state.

Let Palin say what she wants to say. Who cares? Let Bachmann have Iowa. How much further could she go? Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul? Give me a break.

But Rick Perry? Here we have someone to keep the real campaigners in the Republican Party up at night, and they may have to do whatever they can to discredit this jackass as quickly as they can. Not that he seems to need the help.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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  • Indeed, let the GOP civil war begin. Or, as Rick Perry might call it, 'The War Between the States'.

    By Anonymous chris, at 1:03 PM  

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