Rick Perry Gets Aggressive in Iowa
Rick Perry was once deemed the leading Republican candidate for the 2012 presidency, but after some embarrassing missteps, his popularity has decreased significantly. With the Iowa primaries just weeks away, Perry released an aggressive new ad campaign that targets socially conservative voters.
The Iowa campaign ads reportedly cost the Perry camp a whopping 1.2 million dollars. This may seem like a extraordinary amount for one state, but the candidate’s performance in Iowa could make or break his candidacy for the 2012 presidential race.
In a short commercial titled “Strong” that went viral this week, he attempts to appeal to conservative Christian voters, promising that he is the candidate that will uphold their values. He directly attacks President Obama on his “war on religion” stating, “there is something wrong in this country when gays can celebrate openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”
This attack is a desperate move in a moment when Perry needs significantly more support to win in these key early states. While his popularity has plummeted over the past few months, Mitt Romney, a Mormon, is still a front-runner that could win the Iowa caucus. By aligning himself closely with Christian values, he is hoping to gain votes from people who share these core beliefs in a faith that Perry says “made our country strong.”
These ads are just a fraction of Perry’s fight to regain popularity before the primary on January 3. In a recent speech to Jewish Republicans, he said he would increase U.S. aid to Israel. “Strategic defensive aid to Israel is what we will continue to be focused on, and I will assure you one thing: strategic defensive aid, strategic aid in all forms under a Perry administration will increase to Israel,” he said.
This speech came after Ron Paul made controversial statements during the CNN National Security Debate regarding U.S. involvement in Israel. “Why do we have this automatic commitment that we’re going to send our kids and our money endlessly to Israel? I think they are quite capable of taking care of themselves” said Paul. While Perry has been slipping in the polls, Paul’s numbers are steadily increasing. There are even reports that he could win the Iowa primary. While Paul is running on the Republican ticket, he is historically socially liberal. He wishes to decrease military spending and intervention abroad.
Perry hopes his far-right views will attract supporters who will vote for a candidate that will uphold their values. With the primaries around the corner, it will soon be determined whether this decisive political strategy will attract new support or fall flat on Iowa constituents.