Gov. Rick Perry

2012 Presidential Election
8:58 am
Fri January 6, 2012

For Perry, Quitting is Not an Option

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

No phrase sums up Rick Perry’s political DNA better than this one: He has never lost an election. But after an awful fifth-place showing in Iowa, and top aides telling him he should consider pulling out of the presidential race, the specter of a first defeat has come into focus.

Here's the problem: Perry does not really know how to lose.

“Setbacks are unknown to him,” said Bill Miller, a veteran Texas lobbyist and consultant. “He has no experience with it. He’s never quit because he’s never lost.”

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Austin
12:54 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Gov. Perry Cautious with the Media

Texas Governor Rick Perry speaking to reporters the morning after the 2012 Iowa Caucus.
Photo by Matt Largey/KUT News.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is taking his campaign to New Hampshire and South Carolina, which hold GOP presidential primary elections this month. Perry had members of the press corps scratching their heads after Iowa over the mixed messages from his campaign staff.

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2012 Presidential Election
9:55 am
Thu January 5, 2012

After Poor Iowa Showing, Why is Perry Still Running?

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Only Gov. Rick Perry knows for sure what changed in the 12-hour period between his late-night decision to come back to Texas to reassess his presidential bid and his morning Tweet that he was forging ahead to South Carolina.

While the Tuesday night announcement surprised Perry's staffers and supporters — even following a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses — his abrupt and public change of heart Wednesday morning caught them completely off guard.  

So what could he be thinking? We asked seasoned strategists, politicos and Republican experts on the ground in early primary states for their top five theories.

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2012 Presidential Election
3:48 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Inside Look at Perry's Presidential Campaign

Despite a fifth place finish in Iowa, Governor Rick Perry says he won’t abandon his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. KUT News hosted a Tele-Town Hall this afternoon with senior reporter Ben Philpott and NPR’s national political correspondent Don Gonyea. Moderated by KUT’s Nathan Bernier.

The conference call is 40 minutes. Stream it here or download the mp3 and listen on a mobile device. 

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2012 Presidential Election
12:50 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Perry: “A Lot” of Democrats Voted in Iowa Caucuses

Photo by Matt Largey, KUT News

Governor Rick Perry, in justifying his decision to stay in the GOP presidential contest, said the Iowa caucuses were “loosey goosey” and allowed a lot of Democrats to participate.

Perry came in fifth in last night’s Iowa contest, and said he was headed back to Texas to “reassess” his presidential campaign. Then late this morning, Perry tweeted that he was continuing on to South Carolina. 

KUT's Matt Largey was one of a group of reporters who caught up with Governor Perry in the lobby of the Sheraton West Des Moines as the candidate explained his decision.

Rick Perry: I just said I was going to reassess last night. I reassessed. We’re headed to New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Reporter: So you’ll participate in both debates?

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2012 Presidential Election
10:58 am
Wed January 4, 2012

In Quick Turnaround, Perry Headed to South Carolina

Despite a disappointing fifth place finish in Tuesday night's Iowa caucuses that led Rick Perry to say he was returning home to Texas to reassess his candidacy, the Texas governor surprised everyone — including some of his own staff — by tweeting that he was headed to the Palmetto State. 

"Next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State," Perry tweeted, posting a picture of himself in jogging gear giving two thumbs up. "Here we come South Carolina!!!" 

Perry's son Griffin Perry followed up with his own tweet confirming his father's intentions. "See y'all next week in Carolina! I expect all my SEC brethren to come out in force," the younger Perry tweeted.

The news sent political pundits, who had all but assumed Perry was dropping out of the race, spinning. It also clearly confused some of Perry's campaign staff, many of whom were en route from Iowa to Austin. 

"We are all scrambling," one staffer wrote in a text message. 

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2012 Presidential Election
11:47 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Perry Returning to Texas To Reassess Presidential Campaign

After a bruising fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Governor Rick Perry says he will return to Texas and consider whether to stay in the Republican presidential primary.

“With a little prayer and reflection, I’m going to decide the best path forward,” Perry said to supporters at his Iowa campaign headquarters in Des Moines. (Watch Perry's speech here.)

Perry officially declared his candidacy at a South Carolina rally on August 13 and quickly surged to the top of the polls, but his luster was tarnished after a series of embarrassing debate performances culminating in his infamous “Oops” moment, a gaffe so blundering that it became a cultural touchstone.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:23 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Iowa Republican Caucus Results

With a meager ten percent showing in the Iowa caucuses, Governor Rick Perry says he is returning to Texas to reassess his political campaign. Read our story here and watch his speech here

Here are the latest results from across Iowa. 

  1. Mitt Romney 25% (Declared winner)
  2. Rick Santorum 25%
  3. Ron Paul 21% 
  4. Newt Gingrich 13%
  5. Rick Perry 10%
  6. Michele Bachmann 5%
  7. Jon Huntsman 1%

More.....

2012 Presidential Election
9:44 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Iowa Co-Chair: Perry Has “A Lot of Work to Do”

Republican candidate for President, Texas Governor Rick Perry, rallies supporters in an early morning gathering of his 'strike force' on Iowa caucus day January 3, 2012.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Update at 11:38 p.m. Perry says he is returning to Texas to reconsider his presidential campaign.

Earlier: Results are still pouring in this evening from the Iowa GOP presidential caucuses, but they can’t meet the best hopes of Governor Rick Perry’s Iowa campaign. He surged to the top of the pack after announcing his run on August 13; Perry is now looking at a fourth or fifth place showing in Iowa.

KUT News talked to Perry’s campaign co-chair in Iowa, Bob Haus.

KUT News: Governor Perry has been asking people for a second look, but was it too late in the game for him to bring it around?

Bob Haus: I don’t know. Let’s wait for all the results to come in tonight. It looks like a pretty close battle for fourth place between he and [former House] Speaker Gingrich, so we’ll see how it all turns out.

I think it’s really important to remember that this is the first step in a very long process. Regardless of what tonight’s results are, he’s laid down plans to go into New Hampshire to do the debates, go into South Carolina and start campaigning, and he’s going to keep fighting on.

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2012 Presidential Election
7:24 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Perry’s A&M Classmate Caucuses For Governor In Urbandale

Gov. Rick Perry at his last campaign stop of 2011 in Boone, Iowa, on Dec. 31, 2011.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

One of Rick Perry’s former classmates at Texas A&M University made an impassioned plea at a caucus meeting in Urbandale, Iowa for voters to support the Texas Governor’s bid for the presidential nomination.

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2012 Presidential Election
5:35 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Perry Vows To Fight On Past Iowa

Governor Rick Perry speaking this afternoon with CNN's John King

Update at 11:40 p.m. Perry says he is returning to Texas to reconsider his presidential campaign.

Earlier: Texas Governor Rick Perry, speaking this afternoon on CNN, says he will “continue on” tomorrow in South Carolina, regardless of how well he performs tonight in Iowa.

“The idea that one or two states is going to decide who the next nominee for the Republican party is just, that’s not reality,” Perry told CNN’s John King. “This is a fifty-state campaign.”

King asked Perry if he was worried that socially conservative candidates including Perry, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum could split the far right vote and hand the nomination to Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor.

But Perry dodged the question, saying comparisons to past elections don’t apply in this race.

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2012 Presidential Election
3:55 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Rick Perry Rallies Troops Ahead of Caucus

It might have been the closing moments of a Texas governor’s race.

There stood Rick Perry, flanked by his fellow Republican leaders Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Comptroller Susan Combs.

Ad man David Weeks lingered in a crowded doorway as aide Robert Black adjusted a sagging campaign sign, one of several being used for backdrops inside the Sheraton West Des Moines hotel. Longtime political allies, donors and friends smiled and cheered at all the appropriate times.

But in the few hours remaining before the results from the Iowa caucuses start pouring in, an unfamiliar air of nervousness and uncertainty hung over the crowd. None of them have ever seen Perry so far out of his comfort zone, so close to his first-ever defeat.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:45 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Governor Perry Casts Pigs In Newest Campaign Ad

With the Iowa caucuses looming just over the horizon, Governor Perry is swinging hard at Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator leads the pack among the more socially-conservative GOP presidential candidates.

In this new advertisement, the Perry campaign literally shows pigs in an effort to draw a comparison between pork barrel politics and Santorum’s three-year-old comment on Fox News that “I’ll defend earmarks."  Earmarks are provisions added to bills that direct funds to projects in lawmakers' home districts. 

The ad repeats Santorum's one-second comment six times, each time highlighting an earmarks Santorum put into bills while serving in Congress. Unsettling carnival music plays in the background, while a portrait of President Obama slowly transforms into the face of the former Senator.  

Santorum has rebuffed Perry's attack on earmarks, saying he's "proud" of money he brought back to his state.

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2012 Presidential Election
2:04 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

The Caucuses: A Quick Guide

Edward Lewis of Council Bluffs waved an Iowa state flag outside the Family Table Restaurant in Atlantic on Sunday, before the arrival of former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 1:11 pm

Those who remember newspapers might recognize this as a "clip and save." Maybe the more modern term would be a "cut and paste." Whatever, if you want some of the details and logistics about Tuesday night's caucuses in Iowa, here they are:

-- When: 7 p.m. Central time (8 p.m. ET).

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NEWS ROUNDUP
12:45 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

Sunday Roundup for January 1, 2012

Fireworks (and a lot of smoke) filled the air late Saturday, during the fireworks display capping "Austin's New Year" celebration.
Photo by Ian Crawford/KUT News

Happy New Year! A warm start to 2012 brought crowds to Auditorium Shores for ring out the old year, it brought some warm news to Ron Paul's presidential aspirations just ahead of Iowa GOP caucuses and 2012 could bring some warmth to people living on Austin's streets.

Austin Welcomes 2012

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2012 Presidential Election
8:25 pm
Sat December 31, 2011

Romney & Paul Neck and Neck

Texas Congressman Ron Paul's continues to run in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney, according to a Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night.
Photo by Gage Skidmore/Texas Tribune

With the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses four days away, a new Des Moines Register poll show a razor-thin margin between former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:19 am
Sat December 31, 2011

On the Road: Wrapping Up the Bus Tour

Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News

Today ends the Rick Perry Faith, Jobs and Freedom bus tour.

Well, mostly...

This was supposed to be the end, but the campaign added a final day, January 2nd, to the tour. That final blitz will see the governor finally visit Perry, Iowa, A town the Texas Tribune's Emily Ramshaw and I visited on our own back in September while following Perry on the campaign trail.

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2012 Presidential Election
8:25 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

On the Road: The Surge Behind the Scenes

Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News

The latest polls from Iowa have Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich essentially in a tie. Each candidate is within striking distance of 3rd place. And each could just a easily finish 5th.

And you can see the optimism in the Perry campaign staff. A little most jump in their step and a little more seriousness as they go about their work.

You can also see it in the number of reporters covering Governor Perry.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:15 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Polls Show Perry Gaining Momentum

Rick Perry talks with voters in Marshalltown, Iowa
Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News

The big story out of Iowa Wednesday was the CNN/Time poll, showing former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was finally getting his turn to be the "not Mitt Romney" candidate (a position previously held by Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich).

That same polls showed Rick Perry still in 5th place in Iowa. A finish that some think could lead to the Texas governor dropping out of the GOP Presidential race.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:17 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Fighting for Iowa's Evangelicals, Perry Targets Santorum

Gov. Perry campaigning last week in DeWitt, Iowa
Photo by Ben Philpott, KUT News

Texas Governor Rick Perry spent the last two weeks namelessly attacking Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney by telling voters that they didn't need to elect a Washington D.C. or Wall Street insider.

But at this morning's campaign stop in the Iowa town of Washington, the governor focused his attack specifically on former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. A new CNN/Time poll showed Santorum jumping from sixth place in Iowa to third.

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