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Candidate Profile: Rick Perry - A 'Conservative Outsider"

Patch will be profiling each of the candidates this week in preparation of Saturday's First in the South Primary.

Once an early frontrunner in the GOP presidential race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign has fizzled and the “outsider” candidate is fighting to win over South Carolina voters after losses in Iowa and New Hampshire.

In August 2011, Perry was but is now polling at and five percent in Tuesday's Rasmussen Reports.

Perry's lead dwindled after a series of gaffes where he forgets which three agencies he would eliminate as president during the CNBC GOP debate in November; forgets the voting age was 18 while speaking in New Hampshire; and while speaking in South Carolina.

Through it all, Perry's wife, Anita, said the Republican presidential hopeful is a "genuine leader" and "true conservative down to the core" and those qualities make him the right fit for president.

"He's governed for 11 years as the longest-serving governor in the state of Texas, and he's got that chief executive officer experience," Anita Perry said. "But truly a fiscal and social conservative, he's balanced six budgets since he's been governor, that's a huge, huge feat. He's actually done what he has said."

"Tort reform, we have the greatest, strongest tort reform package in the country, Texas has 1,300 people moving a day for employment," she continued. "He has helped create that climate so that jobs can be created, he knows how to get America back to work. You know that's what we need, Americans back to work."

One thing Anita Perry wants voters to know and remember is that Perry is a leader that will keep the country safe.

"He's worn the uniform of our military," Anita Perry said. "Getting America back to work and protecting us so we can have America again like we knew it ... I think he's the best qualified."

Reassessing

After a fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, Perry said he would return to Texas to assess whether there was a path for him in the race and cancelled several events in the state.

Less than 24 hours later, Perry tweeted a photo of him running and saying, “Here we come, South Carolina!”

By Jan. 8, with multiple stops in the Midlands, the Upstate and the Lowcountry ignoring the New Hampshire primary.

Supporters were relieved and said he could still win in South Carolina. 

S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor said South Carolina was “his (Perry's) kind of state with his kind of people” and that Perry was the only "true conservative” in the race.

"If people would actually look at the voting records of people and what they've accomplished, I believe they will find him to be the conservative candidate that could be president of the United States," Taylor said.

Endorsements

Perry has earned some key endorsements in South Carolina and has lost some along the way.

Congressman Mick Mulvaney, (R-South Carolina) endorsed Perry back in September and former S.C. GOP chairman Katon Dawson serves as Perry’s South Carolina manager.

Perry also received endorsements from S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell; state Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler; the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers; and former Speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives and former Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins.

There have been a few casualties, however, as the S.C Primary nears.

On Jan. 12, Perry lost a .

Barry Wynn, president of Colonial Trust Company in Spartanburg, left the Perry camp after his attacks on Romney’s career at Bain Capital.

This week, S.C. GOP leader Patrick Haddon also jumped ship and endorsed Rick Santorum.

On Monday, S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms (R- Bonneau) called for Perry to step down to avoid splitting the conservative votes.

Policies

The Air Force veteran and Eagle Scout is running on a conservative platform and calls for an “overhaul of Washington, D.C.” stating an “outsider” is needed to fix the problems in the federal government.

Perry is an advocate for limiting the federal governments involvement in individual states; calls for a 20 percent flat tax as a way to fix America’s tax code; wants to repeal Obamacare; and eliminate several federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Education.  

As the governor of Texas, Perry said his state has gained more than one million jobs while the rest of the country has shown job loss.

Perry also speaks of his strategy to secure the border to stop illegal immigration by increasing manpower, technology and fencing.

Future

No matter what the outcome in South Carolina, Perry said on  CNN's "State of the Union" that he would continue on to Florida.

Perry still has hope that South Carolina — the state 'who picks presidents' — will be the spark he needs to get ahead.

Dawson, the state campaign chair, previously said South Carolina was going to have its say and that Perry has received a "warm reception from everybody.”

rick January 18, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Wish he would tell us his views on all this money the Gov't gives to all these foreign counties, that hate us anyway,that we do not get back. We could fix this counrty if that would stop. We also need to get the oil from our own county,I have read we have more than enough, and bring in the Canadian oil. They will sell it to someone, and we should be that someone.Pipe lines from Alaska isn't hurting our land or animals. I just saw a picture of a caribou at the pipeline keeping warm and the lines are animal friendly.We need to stop policeing the world and protect ours more. Put most troops on the borders,that way they can be with their families.Mkae everyone pay taxes,no loopholes.Big companies pay nothing and rich pay little if any,what's up with that. It's wrong.
Peter J Shepherd January 21, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Rick, Unfortunately, he is out of the race....for now. He would bring all foreign aid to a baseline of zero. Then he would look at each nation to determine if giving them aid would be in our best interests - if they were our true allies. He would approve the Keystone Oil Pipeline. He would open up Federal lands to drilling for oil and gas, immediately creating millions of jobs. Rick Perry cares about the little guy.

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