The heading on Rick Perry’s official campaign site is “A True Conservative.” This is a key point he is trying to hammer home to win the republican bid in the 2012 election. Although the we are still 5 months away from the primaries that start the Republican nomination, Perry knows he is going to have to compete with the heavy weight for the republicans, Mitt Romney.
The right-wing tea party movement has already had it’s effect on many republican candidates. The real question though is this: Who is going to break away from the pack of Bachmann, Perry, Ron Paul, and possibly Sarah Palin to be the leading contender against Mitt Romney, who many consider the leading candidate for the GOP as of now.
“All the candidates are competing to oppose Mitt Romney,” said Darrell West, the vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “Essentially, we’re going to have a tea party primary with the winner earning the right to face off against Romney.”
Since Perry announced his campaign bid a few weeks ago, he has sky rocketed in the polls because of his traditional christian roots and beliefs. Some conservatives see him as the only real candidate that will be able to defeat President Barack Obama in the up coming election.
Perry does have his work cut out for him. First off, there is a money issue. Since Romney’s campaign was relatively successful in 2008, he already has a line of sponsors willing to give him money for this election. This is a huge disadvantage to Perry, because like we said, he is still getting his campaign off the ground as he just declared a few weeks ago.
Perry also use to be a Democrat, and supported Al Gore in the 2000 election against President Bush. This also leaves some conservatives skeptical.
“If Perry is able to clear the field without committing political suicide, Romney would be forced to take a more active approach and engage Perry in a one-on-one contest,” said GOP consultant Ford O’Connell, who worked for Sen. John McCain in the 2008 campaign. “Such a situation would not play into Romney’s strengths.”