In the run up to Thursday night's Fox News debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has released a new ad that turns away from the social conservative themes he has been running on as of late and returns to economic themes.
What does the ad say?
The ad uses economic issues to draw a contrast between Perry and the two presumed front runners, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. It accuses Gingrich and Romney, the political insiders, of favoring spending and tax increases. Then it segues to Perry, the political outsider, recounting his record of job creation and fostering economic growth in Texas. The ad mentions Perry's economic and part time Congress reform proposals. There is even a cute slogan: The outsider that political insiders fear most. Perry is continuing a common campaign approach of assuming the role of someone who aims to come to Washington to clean it up, sort of like a sheriff in the wild west.
Does this mean that Perry has dropped the social conservative themes?
Perry's invocation of religious faith and values still crop up in his stump speeches during his Iowa bus tour, according to a story in Slate. He is speaking to modest but appreciative crowds in small towns in Iowa. He did get criticism for the ad the bemoaned the fact that gays can now serve in the military. Some liberal pundits, such as Rev. Michael A Engelking writing in Sea Coast Online, think that Perry's religious themes are a little much. However that does not seem to have hurt him with Iowa voters. He still lags in fourth place in Iowa, according to the Rasmussen Poll, but is back in double digits, rising from just 6 points in the middle of November to 10 points currently. Gingrich, the former front runner, has fallen to second place. It is possible that Perry's use of family values as a campaign theme has started to hurt the twice divorced Gingrich to a certain extent.
What about the Thursday night debate?
Ed Morrissey, writing in the Fiscal Times, believes that Perry is in a good position to shine, provided that he doesn't mess up. Most of the second tier candidates will attack Gingrich and Romney and the two will attack one another. This will allow Perry to assume the role Gingrich used to when he was in the back of the pack, statesmanlike, above the fray, presenting a positive message. With the bus tour playing to his retail politics strength, Perry might well pull out an unexpected good showing in Iowa.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network .
- Politics & Government
- Politics & Government/Elections
- Newt Gingrich
- Mitt Romney