Rick Perry: Just a Pretty Face?
Politico got right to the point on Saturday evening:
“SPENCER, Iowa — Rick Perry’s immigration problem isn’t going away. It’s getting bigger.
Two weeks after he said Republicans who disagree with the Texas law allowing undocumented immigrants in-state tuition “don’t have a heart,” angering many of his base, Perry found himself in northwest Iowa Saturday trying to explain to voters exactly what the program does.
He did not have much success, his words seeming to confuse some voters rather than allay their suspicions.”
In Iowa, Rick Perry’s immigration problem grows By Reid J. Epstein 10/8/11
The New York Times, in a story trying to focus on the general amateurism of the Perry operation, could not avoid identifying the same issue:
“In interviews with nearly two dozen Republican voters who saw him in Iowa, sharp criticism of his views on immigration was volunteered in all but one conversation…
Mr. Perry and his team were initially taken aback by intense criticism from conservatives, particularly on immigration…”
After Rocky Start, More Study, and Sleep, for Perry By Jeff Zeleny October 9, 2011
But actually the most telling part of the Politico story was a derivative of the immigration issue. Perry’s standard line on his tuition subsidy to illegal immigrants is that it makes them more valuable residents, an absurdity because they still cannot legally work. The answer needs adroit deployment:
“…in Spencer…Perry explained to voter Kathryn Parsons that Texas sought to make undocumented immigrants productive members of his state…
He said that those eligible for in-state rates must be on a path to citizenship — a fact his wife, Anita, reminded him of during the Sioux City stop.”
(VDARE.com emphasis) In other words even after all the controversy, and having been asked so many times, Perry forgets to use the essential sleight of hand and needs his wife to remind him.
Personally, I wish patriotic questioners would press Perry more on the Border Fence issue. No clearer-cut test of immigration policy intentions exists and Perry has a record of silly statements on it.