(Update) Rick Perry vs. Mitt Romney — Courageous Conviction vs. The Pandering Establishment
There are two kinds of public servants. Those whom stick with a core set of principles and beliefs and those whom stick their finger in the pragmatic wind driven by the thoughts of the masses for their own political ambition. The race for the GOP nomination has been a fun ride since Rick Perry entered the race. The last two debates have been excellent with Perry having to go through the vetting crucible fired by the declining campaigns of his opponents. What remains to be seen is if the crucible will yield some polling gold for Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann.
What has been fascinating to watch is the crystallization of what kind of men Rick Perry and Mitt Romney really are. Probably the most telling revelation was the sparring that has happened over Social Security and how to address it. This was expertly broken down by Freedoms Truth. What happened? Well, instead of Rick Perry cratering among seniors, his support is actually the strongest among people aged 50+ in the latest Rasmussen poll. Then a poll in Florida came out showing Perry up by 9 over Romney AFTER the debate as Perry stood strong on Social Security being a Ponzi scheme. Mitt Romney’s pandering wound up backfiring badly and once again showed that people follow courage. Folks, if Mitt Romney doesn’t win Florida, Rick Perry will win the nomination going away. Florida is Romney’s hill to die on. However, also in that latest Rasmussen poll showed that Perry went from a 3 point lead in a matchup with Obama to a 7 point deficit. Why? Well, I believe that the Gardasil attacks by Bachmann and Santorum did hurt Perry. Though it is known and documented that Perry relented on his executive order and admitted his mistake, the attacks were effective whether you think that is fair or not. However, something very important was revealed there:
This issue showed that Perry had the courage to follow his convictions, showed restraint when the people and legislature voiced their objection, and had the wisdom and humility to say that he was wrong
How refreshing. Friends, these are the hallmarks of great leaders. Now conviction is a double-edged sword. Perry’s stance on immigration was one that I had a big problem with and he got some boos from the crowd in this last debate. However, I do have the confidence with so many good conservatives now gaining office in the House and Senate that Perry will listen to them and the people in regards to his immigration stances. The great part about this vetting that Rick Perry has been receiving is that it is going to make him a very difficult opponent for Obama to have any chance of beating. The vetting is getting all of any potential dirty laundry or skeletons that Perry may have so it will not be a deflecting issue in the general election. What will be left is the discussion about the most important issues of this election: Jobs, the economy, and government spending in which Perry has an awesome record on in Texas.
The most important lesson that we should always remember: Choose a candidate that has guts
The last time we nominated a candidate that had guts and was unabashed about his conservative convictions was Ronald Reagan. Back in 1980, Reagan was initially down big in the polling against Carter. Reagan had both the Democratic Party and the GOP establishment personified as the Rockefeller wing against him. Polls tightened up when Reagan became the nominee and it was very close until the final weekend. It came down to independents breaking for Reagan as Carter’s impotence as president sealed his fate. We need to play to win here, not nominate a pandering establishment candidate in the hopes that he has the best chance to win. It will be nailbiting, but Rick Perry is the best candidate for the GOP nod, no doubt.
(Update: A great post this morning by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air about the red herring strategy of Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann. Their only way to make up any ground against Perry is to direct the conversation away from Perry’s strength which is his economic record in Texas. This is just further confirmation that Rick Perry is our strongest candidate. There were also some concerns with an uptick in Texas’ unemployment rate. This is simple mathematics as when you have a massive influx of people from other states in the country looking for work, this is bound to happen. Gaining four congressional seats from the 2010 census says everything about Texas’ population growth.)