By Javier Manjarres
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is presenting himself to Republican primary voters as the true “Washington outsider” in the race as he attempts to surge in the last few days remaining before the Iowa Caucus. Perry’s campaign just released a new campaign video named ‘Fox‘ in which he calls out Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul for being typical Washington establishment insiders who are all responsible in some manner for the out of control deficit spending and corruption as members of Congress.
Perry makes a point in that all of the current and past members of Congress share the blame for the woes that have hampered the nation under their leadership. In all fairness, the ‘insider’ candidates that Perry contrasts himself with have mostly, but not always towed the conservative line and pushed back against the Democrat liberal agenda.
But as a member of Congress, you need to be prepared to accept the accolades as well as the admonishments that come with the job of being either a Senator and Representative. Perry has served as Texas Governor for over a decade, and he has been ridiculed for practicing in ‘crony capitalism’ as sitting Governor. While it’s well known that congressman kowtow to special interests and are easily manipulated by their respective political parties in Washington,D.C., the same argument can also be made that a sitting Governor of a state as large as Texas is also participating in “crony capitalism” that favors business associates and/or friends.
But Perry’s message of overhauling Congress is timely and it resonates not just among Republicans but among Independents and conservative Democrats as well. His overhaul includes the slashing congressional salaries, staff and time in Washington by 50%, as well as the ridiculously lavish lifetime health care benefits that congressional members have entitled themselves to once they have served four years in Congress.
I want to overhaul Washington in a lot of different ways, one of the first ways is a part-time Congress. They don’t need to be there full-time, they don’t need to be getting $174k a year, they don’t need to be having these lifetime benefits that they vote on themselves. – Governor Rick Perry (Shark Tank)
Perry points out that the Texas legislature meets once every two years for 140 days, and during which time the legislature finalizes the budget and legislative matters while paying the legislators a salary of $600 a month.
The question now for the Perry Campaign- is it too late? Perry has himself stated that he “messed up” at the Presidency 5 debate, and its subsequent straw poll, and his campaign has not fully recovered from those gaffes since. But now we are seeing a newly invigorated Rick Perry on the campaign trail who is injecting enthusiasm into his stump appearances and has substantially improved his debate performances.
Considering the volatile climate of the race, it is possible that Floridians could give the “new” Rick Perry a second chance if he steps up to the plate and solidifies himself as the clear alternative to “Newt Romney”. Can Perry and his campaign step it up in time?