After insulting Conservatives during two separate debates by stating that those who oppose in-state tuition are heartless and are racist because they don’t like people whose names sound different, it has taken Rick Perry almost a week later to realize his mistake. Today he issued his non-apology and you watch the full interview below. He attempts to walk back his statement around the 5:25 mark.
Here's the key quote:
“I was probably a bit over-passionate by using that word and it was inappropriate,” Perry admitted. “In Texas in 2001 we had 181 members of the legislature – only four voted against this piece of legislation – because it wasn’t about immigration it was about education.”
The fact that Perry is doing damage control a week after the debates instead of the day after the debates will not get him any redemption in the eyes of conservative voters. The fact that he has waited this long to offer his non-appology reeks of desperation since he's now issuing his mea culpa after he lost the Florida straw poll after working so hard to win it and that polls show up. He also may be saying sorry because his poll numbers are dropping quickly in places like Florida and Iowa. Finally, he might be offering his mea culpa now since wealthy donors are ditching Rick Perry and running to Mitt Romney.
Rick Perry has done more damage to himself than any other candidate and his attempts at damage control almost a week later, are only continuing to hurt him rather than help him. Its too late for him now to repair the damage he's done to himself. Conservatives will not and should not be easily forgiving to a candidate who was so willing to demoagouge them not once but twice by implying the worst motives for their opposition to subsidized tuition for illegal immigrants.
Whats even worse, Rick Perry appears to be clueless as to why conservatives are angry with him. Ace, a well known conservative blogger, explains why Rick Perry's apology shouldn't be accepted. Its worth reading.