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Watching and Waiting: Rick Perry 2012

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

Over the last few days, it seems as if Governor Perry has sought to distance himself from the co-host of his prayer event, The Response. And in a recent interview, he articulated a states' rights view on the issue of gay marriage.  Is the Governor moving towards the center to appeal to moderates? How will these moves play to his conservative base? And finally - the BIG question - Will he run?

Perry May Not Speak at His Own Prayer Event, Endorsers Dropped From Website

On August 6, Governor Perry and the American Family Association are co-hosting The Response, a day of Christian prayer and fasting at Reliant Stadium in Houston. It has been the assumption of us here at Watching and Waiting that Governor Perry would have a prominent speaking role at the event.  Now, CNN reports, “Perry’s role is still being worked out.”

 So the Governor may or may not speak at his own prayer rally.

We previously blogged about how Perry has sought to distance himself from some of the opinions of the American Family Association, which campaigns against ‘the homosexual agenda,’ and other event endorsers such as John Hagee, John Benefiel, and C. Peter Wagner. According to the Austin-American Statesman, the website for The Response no longer includes a link featuring profiles of the individual endorsers, though the AFA is still a co-host.  

Perry Says Gay Marriage is a States’ Rights Issue

With the recent legalization of gay marriage in New York and a challenge to prohibitions on gay marriage working its way through the federal court system, gay marriage is sure to be an issue in both the GOP primary and the general election. In a recent interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, Governor Perry has said while he is “an unapologetic social conservative” who is “pro traditional marriage” New York’s recent decision to legalize gay marriage is “New York’s prerogative. ”

Perry has caught some flak from other ‘unapologetic social conservatives’ including presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum, who criticized Perry on his Twitter feed on July 22.

But according to Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post , Perry’s adoption of “a 10th Amendment approach to gay marriage…is both in keeping with the party’s defense of federalism and smart politics. ”

Like distancing himself from some of the endorsers of the response, Perry’s states’ rights approach to gay marriage can be viewed as an effort to court more moderate GOP and independent voters.

Rick Perry Will Not Appear on Straw Poll Ballot in Iowa

For the last few weeks, a group called Americans for Rick Perry has been building a campaign infrastructure in Iowa. According to Politico, however, GOP party leaders in Iowa have decided not to include Governor Perry’s name on the ballot for the Ames straw poll, which is scheduled for August 13. Sarah Palin, who is also undeclared, will not appear on the ballot either. Should the Governor decide to run, he will still be able to appear on the ballot for the Iowa caucuses scheduled for February 6, 2012.