I know and like many of the Presidential candidates for the GOP. Several of them got their start in national politics on the stage at the RedState Gathering. Others have become friends over time — actual friends, not just someone I know and call friend.

I have hopes that [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] becomes an alternative to Donald Trump. I think there is something to be said that after months of “Mexican rapist” conversations, suddenly the GOP puts up a Spanish speaking Cuban. That would be fun to watch.

I have hopes that [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] can consolidate conservatives and become the person those angry with Washington gravitate to. If you saw the exchange with the actress whats-her-name from Juno, despite media spin to the contrary, Cruz got the best of her and gave a ringing defense of religious freedom. Cruz in the White House would be tremendous.

I am friends with Bobby Jindal too. I hope he can find a path to victory that highlights his intellect. I think he is one of the smartest people to ever run for the White House. There are others too. I probably will not endorse any of the candidates other than endorsing a “Not Kasich” campaign.

But there is one candidate I believe really should be on the debate stage and I think has earned the right to be there, but who may not be there because of polling. That would be Governor Rick Perry of Texas.

We are spending a great deal of time discussing the border. Rick Perry has had to deal with it for 14 years.

We are spending a great deal of time discussing Planned Parenthood. Rick Perry stood up to them.

We are spending a great deal of time talking about the economy. Rick Perry created 1.5 million jobs while the rest of the nation combined lost 400,000 jobs.

We are spending a great deal of time talking about abuses of justice by the Democrats. Rick Perry is under a current indictment even Democrats like David Axelrod have acknowledges was brought on by partisan politics and not the rule of law.

I think Rick Perry deserves a second chance. I think he deserves another look after 2012. The Texas indictment is, at this point, weighing down donors despite even Democrats admitting it was partisan and not legitimate. Perry may still have to get through a trial to get it tossed.

His 2012 debate performance lingers on too.

Shakespeare wrote, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” Rick Perry’s good should not be interred with his 2012 performance. He deserves another shot.

I am so happy for a number of the Presidential prospects this time. But I am disappointed the public might not get to see Rick Perry on stage at the CNN debate to let him put his 2012 back surgery and performance behind him so that he can stand on the merits of his arguments and a performance not hindered by the pain of back surgery.

Tags: rick perry