Rick Perry's campaign stepped into controversy when he was informed that Pastor Robert Jeffress would introduce him at the Value Voters Summit last week. Mitt Romney asked Rick Perry to disavow the statements made by Pastor Jeffress. However, Rick Perry refused to apologize.
Despite the fact that the Perry campaign is playing passive aggressive with Mitt Romney, Rick Perry's wife makes the jaw dropping claim that the Perry campaign has been brutalized because of their faith:
“It’s been a rough month. We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today,” she said. “We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative – well, there are some conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.”
Not surprisingly, Rick Perry didn't disavow what his wife had said by stating that his wife was right.
Its hard to believe Mr. and Mrs. Perry's claim that they are being brutalized because of their faith. They weren't brutalized at all. Perry rode into the race at the top of the polls and remained there for the first three of these debates, only sliding downward after the third debate in Orlando. In an act of desperation, Rick Perry allowed Pastor Jeffress to spew religious bigotry on his behalf to solidify evangelical support and to rise back up in the polls. Rick Perry will never repudiate the Pastor and will use the religion card to bash Mitt Romney until the bitter end.
What is even more despicable is that the Perry campaign wants to play the victim card despite the fact that they were the ones who were brutalizing Mitt Romney's faith. While they will be playing the victim card, Rick Perry will continue to attack Romney's faith by using proxies and surrogates. In fact, its already happening now:
Evangelical Perry supporters said one thing that could be done to unseat Mr. Romney from his front-runner spot is to have surrogates plant doubt among Republican primary voters about the former Massachusetts governor’s Mormonism, something that is widely thought to have contributed to his poor showing in the 2008 Republican primaries and caucuses.
“This is not a difficult task, but one that must be done,” Mr. Brinson said. “You can’t have people raising the Mormon issue front and center, but you can raise the question as surrogates about the language of faith that we used successfully against Romney in 2008 when we worked for Mike Huckabee. It is all about semantics.”
They know they can't directly attack Mitt Romney's faith. They will have to do it by subtle and indirect means just as they did in the last Presidential election. However, the difference between the 2008 election and the 2012 election is that in the previous election, opponents of Mitt Romney were not openly talking about attacking Mitt's faith as they are now. The fact that using semantics as an indirect way to attack Mitt Romney's faith doesn't make their activities any more acceptable.
Its clear that Rick Perry and his supporters are using the same old passive aggressive strategies that was effective in the last presidential election. However, it won't work this time because Americans can recognize this strategy now. The fact that Rick Perry's religious supporters are openly discussing ways to attack Mitt Romney's religious doesn't help the Perry campaign either.Unlike Evangelicals who are struggling to rally around Rick Perry and are determined to use religion to defeat Romney, Mitt Romney hasn't attacked other any other candidate's religion and he enjoys strong evangelical support. Check out the website Evangelicals For Mitt to see why they have been supporting Romney since the 2008 Presidential Election.