A new Insider Advantage poll shows Speaker Newt Gingrich now ahead of former Governor Mitt Romney in South Carolina by three points.
This poll was conducted & released before news of Rick Perry’s pending endorsement today, before Rick Santorum was declared the winner of Iowa this morning, and just one day after Sarah Palin‘s endorsement of the Speaker.
Multiple news sources now reporting that at 11:00 EST, Texas Governor Rick Perry will drop out of the GOP presidential race and endorse former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
This is really an incredible development, especially considering that we all went to bed last night thinking that the story of the next three days would be Gingrich’s ex-wife’s primetime interview. Now, going into tonight’s debate, the entire national story line is Perry-Gingrich.
Now that Romney is clearly, clearly threatened (their campaign has been showing signs of this in the last few days), it will be interesting to see what demeanor he takes on in tonight’s debate. I suspect he will come out swinging.
State Representative Justin Harris (R-West Fork) has officially retracted his endorsement of Texas Governor Rick Perry for the Republican nomination for president.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Harris cited Perry’s comments about those who oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants as “heartless” as a key factor in his decision:
I was asked by Perry’s Campaign in Austin, Texas, if I planned on endorsing him. This came right after Perry made the statement that you are heartless if you do not believe illegal immigrants should receive in-state tuition. I let them know that I fully disagreed and took a lot of heat for the AR HB 2008 from Democrats, and did not appreciate being called heartless by the Texas Governor. I told them that at this point, “I am out, but I will think about it”. I then received two phone calls, one was to hear an apology from the Gov., and the other an apology from his campaign people. I then watched, Governor Perry take back his statement. With a promise of an apology and a word from campaign staff that he was truly sorry, I gave my OK. I have done research and found thousands of illegal residents received in-state tuition in Texas. Which, no surprise to anybody, I am against.
Harris also says he is more interested in doing the right thing than the politically expedient thing:
I have been told, by particular persons on the list, that I will appear wishy washy. I think I have shown conservatives and the people of Arkansas, that I am an independent thinker. Remember, I was the only vote not to seat then State Representative-Elect Fred Smith, who later had to resign due to a felony. It was my first vote in the House, before the regular session, and it was lonely. I would rather be lonely, and do the right thing, than to have people around me that only have their interests at heart.
I do not intend to cast judgment on whether or not the initial endorsement was right or wrong, or whether this retraction is right or wrong, but in more general terms, I will say that doing the right thing is very lonely and Rep. Harris has shown the courage to follow his convictions–only countless issues–regardless of the political consequences. We need more like him in Little Rock.
In the GOP Presidential Debate last week, Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked once again about his decision to give in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants in the State of Texas. Perry points out that only four legislators voted against it in the legislature and the plan had bi-partisan support, including from very conservative Republicans. That was all true. He then took the “convince me” train and threw it off the tracks. ”I don’t think you have a heart,” he said, if you oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Facepalm.
His position on the issue itself isn’t without merit. Obviously, those kids were brought in against their own will – often at ages as young as a few months old. They didn’t break any laws; their parents did. Furthermore, Texas decided sovereignly, without any federal interference, that it was willing to invest money in those children so they are less likely to use up state resources when they are older.
Plenty of people would disagree with that position, namely because it doesn’t exactly discourage people from bringing their kids to Texas illegally. On the other hand, a good financial argument could possibly be made. It’s a reasonable explanation, even if you don’t agree with it. It’s an intelligent explanation. Rick Perry can disagree with the conservative base of the party from time to time; he just can’t be an anti-intellectual buffoon. Conservatives will forgive him on this one issue if he is conservative enough on others–and he doubtlessly is.
But the “heartless” argument is the same argument that Democrats and liberals have used mindlessly for years. ”If you don’t support our handouts, you don’t have a heart. If you don’t want to give half of your paycheck away, you must hate poor people.” We conservatives are sick of it! We know that true compassion is much different than this fake, gimme something free compassion that enslaves entire generations to their government.
If Mr. Perry wants to win, he’ll start appealing more to the intellectual part of the Republican Party – the conservative base. That might mean some debate prep time (oh, horror) or time spent reading some books. Or, he can hand the nomination to Cain, Bachmann or Gingrich. It’s Perry’s choice. What I do know is this: I’ll gladly vote for a nominee who disagrees with me 25% of the time but has an intellectually consistent argument each time. I won’t vote for a primary selection who disagrees with me just 5% of the time but is completely brain dead in his explanation. That’s much more frightening to me.
Your call, Governor Perry.
Nicholas Stehle is a contributor to The Arkansas Patriot and serves on the Board of Directors of Arkansas Carry. He is a concealed carry instructor in the state of Arkansas and an advocate for multiple conservative causes. Check out his tweets and his blog, A New Approach.