Rick Perry Working to Revitalize Campaign

Nov 21, 2011, 09:26 by R.E. Christian

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's more in-your-face campaign moves could indicate he's grasping to keep his foundering Republican presidential bid afloat, observers say.

Perry recently called for a part-time citizen legislature and challenged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to debate him on the issue, began running ads in which he called President Obama's policies "socialist" and said any lawmaker who commits insider trading should be imprisoned.

Republican strategists said it seems Perry knows he needs to shake up his campaign to try to reverse its downward slide, The Hill reported.

"It's 'let's throw everything against the wall, see if it can possibly stick,'" said Republican strategist Tyler Harber, who has not endorsed a candidate in the GOP presidential race. "This is not something a front-runner would do, and anyone looking at this race would say Perry is far from front-runner status. � It is a gimmick, but creating conflict creates news, and sometimes that's what you need to cut through the chatter."

The Hill said Perry's campaign did not respond to its request for comment.

His more aggressive stance coincides with a plummet in support. Most national polls indicate Perry is fourth. His poll numbers began to drop after weak debate performances but really took a dive last week after a debate in which he forgot the name of the third federal department he wanted to eliminate, only to remember it later.

Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist who backs Perry, said the more aggressive campaigning was the right move now that the governor slipped from the top tier, The Hill said.

But Mackowiak said Perry's request that Pelosi debate him was "a Hail Mary, for sure."

Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday she had three reasons for turning down Perry's debate challenge, Politico said.

"He did ask if I could debate here in Washington on Monday. It is my understanding that such a letter has come in," Pelosi said. "Monday I'm going to be in Portland in the morning, I'm going to be visiting some of our labs. I'm in California in the afternoon, that's two. I can't remember what the third is."

Source: UPI