Rick Perry Hoping for Turnaround Tonight in Iowa
The Iowa caucuses are finally here. Tuesday night Republicans in the Hawkeye state will select their favorite candidate to face off against President Barack Obama in November.
The Perry campaign pulled out all the stops Monday. The final two events had musical openings by country music star Larry Gatlin. All of the campaign stops highlighted Perry’s biggest political endorsements. From the dozens of Texas lawmakers who made the trip to Iowa, to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
“Five simple reasons why Rick Perry has got to be in the White House. Why we must make sure that President Obama is a one-term President and leaves the White House next year,”Jindal said.
For Perry’s part, he didn’t change much of his message. His final event in the town of Perry, Iowa drew one of his largest crowds. There were no attacks on Perry’s favorite political targets: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, all of whom are outpolling Perry in Iowa.
Instead, he focused on two military heroes who were campaigning with him, and he even got a little choked up with talking about the need to improve services to all veterans.
“That’s part of what this is all about. It’s about those young men and women. It’s about supporting them when they come home. It’s about making sure that we got a VA that works,” Perry said.
Perry has been doing better in recent Iowa polls but has still faced questions from pundits and voters about his electability versus President Obama. Perry spent time trying to assure voters of his long-term strength, saying Iowa is just the first mile in a marathon. He added that, if caucus-goers selected a candidate that shares their values, he could easily win Iowa and the Presidency.
“This is our challenge. This is for our generation. But our children are waiting for us to answer,” Perry told the crowd, “are we going to answer that call? Will you join me in the mission to hold your hand up and say here am I, send me. And take our country back. That is our our challenge. That is our mission.”
His message that he can defeat President Obama seemed to work on Jane Gullett from the town of Carroll, Iowa.
“Given the opportunity for people to hear him on a basis like today, I think he could easily do it,” Gullett said.
In his final events, potential caucus-goers saw a newly-energized Rick Perry, looking to win over some Iowans who are still undecided. Which of course lead several observers to wonder where that candidate had been over the last few months.