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Rick Perry Pivots on Abortion

Rick Perry listens to Iowa voters December 27, 2011 in Osceola, Iowa.
photo by Bob Daemmrich for KUT News
Rick Perry listens to Iowa voters December 27, 2011 in Osceola, Iowa.

Texas Governor Rick Perry began the 2nd half of his Iowa bus tour Tuesday. He kicked off the week long trek by making a splash with a couple of new campaign moves.

First, Perry added Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio to the tour. Arpaio is the controversial anti-immigration lawman who endorsed Perry a few weeks ago.

Perry had some initial trouble at the start of his campaign for his support of a Texas law that allows the children of some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. Sheriff Arpaio's endorsement helped Perry to bolster his immigration resume.

Second, Perry announced he was changing his stance on abortion. While he's already been opposed to abortion in the past, he had made an exception for cases of rape, incest and the safety of a mother's life. Today he told caucus goers he now opposed all abortions.

He said the change came after watching the movie "The Gift of Life" in Des Moines with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee a couple of weeks ago.

The announced change of position also came just hours before Perry spoke on a "Presidential Pro-Life Forum" sponsored by Personhood USA. Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Michele Backmann spoke on the tele-town hall.

Perry was only on for about 10 minutes. And he only took one question, but that question focused on his shift on abortion.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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