Perry Hopes Bus Tour Will Turn Around Caucus Fortunes
Today is the last day of Governor Rick Perry’s eight-day bus tour through Iowa. Tomorrow, Perry will return to Texas for a brief Christmas break, then it’s back to campaigning.
The Perry campaign called the bus tour a chance for Iowans to give the Texas governor a second look. He was once the frontrunner here, and this barnstorming tour was supposed to convince voters to put him back to the top of the polls. As the tour progressed, Perry refined his message and hit on a theme that seemed to get the crowds excited. By Wednesday afternoon in Muscatine, Iowa, he had assumed the role of a political outsider and used it at each campaign stop.
“And we need someone who will walk in who has the discipline, who has the courage to break up that old system. An outsider. And I want to make this pact with you as I wrap up. I’ll have your back in Washington, D.C. for the next four years. God bless you and thank you for coming out here today,” Perry told the crowd.
Bob Wise came from Iowa City to hear Perry in Muscatine. He says he came to the event undecided, but left as a Perry man.
“He’s human. Puts his leg on one leg at a time,” Wise said, “he’s not Washington, he’s Texas. And he talks the truth, he talks it straight. So if the American people will wake up and listen to that, rather than all the promises that we’ve been getting politically and not had fulfilled, then why not.”
Perry’s drop in the polls and the reason for his second-look bus tour can be traced back to early debate stumbles. But many of the caucus goers who turned out during the tour didn’t think those mistakes will keep voters from supporting him.
Margi Mountz and George Wheat are from Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
“If somebody is going to pick that apart, they need to get a life,” Mountz said.
“You better believe it,” Wheat chimed in, “that’s what I’ve said from day one”.
Recent polls have been a mixed bag for Perry. One had him in third place, though most place him in fourth. He, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann are battling over 30 percent of the vote. Many pundits believe only one of the three will leave Iowa as a viable presidential candidate.