. . . some nice endorsements from a couple of the most important sources in the online conservative community today. They both make very strong cases for the Texas governor while acknowledging his debate struggles and comparing and contrasting his record of accomplishment with those of his two main rivals, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Both pieces were thorough and went to great lengths to spell out the respective strengths and weaknesses of the candidates — a refreshing change from recent editorials of other important online outlets.
The first endorsement comes from a group of prominent contributors to RedState.com, and it makes all the points I’ve been making in Perry’s favor over the past several months and adds several more. It’s unambiguous and enthusiastic in support of the governor while acknowledging that he does have imperfections. Here’s a small taste:
Perry is the most reliable conservative in the race. He has made his share of missteps over 25 years in public life, as have all the candidates, but when you think seriously about which of the major candidates would govern in the most consistently conservative fashion, the answer is obvious. Perry hasn’t zigzagged or flip-flopped his way through his career, and he’s not overtaken by a new enthusiasm every week. Neither flights of fancy nor bipartisan consensus for its own sake are in his nature. His long record in office, and his base of support, place him well to the right of Mitt Romney and – on the great issues of the day – to the right of Newt Gingrich as well. Judging the men just by their records, Perry can be counted on to govern to the right of either.
A brief summary of examples of Perry’s lengthy record tells the story of his conservatism:
-67 tax cuts for a total taxpayer savings of $14 billion.
-Fewer government employees per capita than when he took office.
-Perry has consistently scored a solid “B” rating from the Cato Institute on spending.
-Persistent action (not just words) on pro-life issues, ranging from breaking roadblocks to a parental notification law in 1999 to a groundbreaking defunding of Planned Parenthood in 2011.
In addition to the RedState.com contributor endorsement, Rick Perry picked up one from Mike Flynn, editor-in-chief over at Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com. Like the RedState endorsement, Flynn takes care to address the governor’s shortcomings while drawing the contrast between him and his two biggest competitors for the nomination — both in terms of policy and the difficult politics behind nominating them.
There is also a fundamental political problem with either a Gingrich or Romney nomination. The GOP wouldn’t be able to campaign against the Wall Street bailouts nor the individual health mandate. They both supported these at one time or another. Does the party really want to remove those arrows from its quiver? Those two issues are a large reason why 60+% of Independents align themselves with the GOP now. I know people joke that the GOP is the “stupid party”, but really? They really don’t want to make those arguments against Obama? Aren’t these two issues the defining issues of the upcoming election?
This isn’t simply an endorsement against Gingrich and Romney; it is an endorsement FOR Rick Perry. Perry is the longest serving governor in Texas history, a state with a long-standing tradition of voting incumbents out of office. He has successfully managed budget shortfalls without taking the easy path of tax hikes. General Revenue spending, accounting for population and inflation, is lower now then when he took office. He has cut taxes by billions. He has rejected federal dollars when he thought the feds where overstepping their authority. And, perhaps more importantly, he spearheaded a landmark medical malpractice reform which reversed the exodus of doctors out of the state and is steadily improving the health care market in Texas.
And that’s just the beginning of a fairly exhaustive endorsement of the governor. Both pieces need to be read and forwarded along to any conservative who may not yet be locked into supporting another candidate — and even those who may have chosen another, but may still be persuadable. They come at a great time, as Rick Perry makes a hard, final push in the Hawkeye State in the final two weeks heading into the first-in-the-nation caucuses. As the governor rolls on through his 40+ city bus tour, engaging in the retail politics that have served him well throughout his career in Texas, he’ll be meeting face-to-face with people who follow politics closely — many of whom are part of the online conservative community and are more influenced by endorsements of this kind than they are by that of the Des Moines Register.
Aside from the importance of such endorsements, the information contained within them can be helpful in bringing undecided voters over into the Perry camp. So, if you or someone you know is considering joining the Perry Strike Force set to hit the ground in Iowa in the days immediately before the caucuses, you may want to familiarize yourself with the points made on the governor’s behalf in these endorsements, and forward them along to anyone you know who plans to go.
Things are clearly looking up for Governor Perry these days compared to the days when so many pundits were writing his political obituary. Already, he’s only two points behind Mitt Romney in Iowa and gaining in the wake of the collapse in support for Newt Gingrich. There’s no reason that momentum can’t continue to build — and I, for one, fully expect it will as he makes his way around the state meeting and greeting caucus-goers and Republican activists.
UPDATE: Make that three endorsements from important sources for the online conservative movement, adding Ace of Spades — who’s been a Perry supporter for a while now, but has gotten around to writing an extended piece laying out the reasoning behind his support:
Other candidates may have theories about their preferred economic system hypothetically producing postulated good outcomes. The ideologue Ron Paul, for example, will regale you with tales about what Austrian Economics might do, were they ever actually put into practice.
Rick Perry can say, “My policy is to have a low tax burden on wealth-creators and a fair and predictable regulatory scheme which does not seek to pick winners and losers, and here is how that has worked out in Texas.”
Not theoretical. Not hypothetical. This is what actually happened.
Partisans, being ideological, tend to be over-swayed by expressions of ideological belief. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul are champion ideology-slingers.
But what decision or action has either made that has actually had a tangible, measurable, concrete effect on the economy?
Oh they’ve both “fought” losing battles, casting symbolic votes in their capacity as Congressmen Who Don’t Really Do Anything Except Give Speeches.
But what has either actually done?
Read, bookmark, familiarize yourself with, and forward along these posts to anyone still looking for a candidate to support. If they’re not persuaded by these pieces — well, there’s something wrong with them. Seriously wrong.