Romney's plan to beat Perry

Aug 30, 2011

Mark Thiessen chatted about how Mitt Romney plans to beat Rick Perry for the Republican nomination.

Read: Romney's plan to beat Perry

Hello. Looking forward to your questions!

From your column, it appears that part of Romney's strategy is for the media to define Perry is negative ways -- and hopefully in ways that ultimately benefit Romney My question is: if the race does come down to a question on the economy -- Can Romney win that debate. Is the "I'm a businessman" stronger than a 10-year Governor with a laudable economic record?

This election will be about jobs.  Perry is a threat to both Romney and Obama for the same reason --because of his jobs record as governor.  The head of the Texas Federal Reserve -- a Democrat -- gave a speech recently in which he said that 49.9 percent of the jobs created since 2009 were created in Texas -- and that this was because of govt policies in TX on spending, taxes and regulation that were conducive to growth (ie. Perry's policies).  That is a record that will be hard to compete with..

Mitt's strategy in a nutshell: Focus on Obama, let Perry self-implode. The more Perry speaks, the less likely he will win in the General. The Pubs want to win. They'll turn to Romney eventually. - Post commenter DELewes

That is Romneys hope.  I watched Perry up close in New Hampshire and he is a skilled campaigner.  They clearly are hoping he will implode somehow or that the press, Michele Bachmann, or one of the other GOP candidates will bring him down.

Romney is lagging in the polls. Isn't it just about time for him to quit the race? - Post commenter Reason7

Think it is too early to count him out, just as it is too early to tell whether Perry will last.  A few good weeks on the campaign trail do not a president make. 

Several commentators have suggested that Perry is vulnerable because of the outlandishness of some of his religiosity. Can Romeny exploit that? Or is he check-mated by being a Mormon?

I don't think his religiosity is outlandish -- it reflects the faith of millions of Americans. 

You should have allowed more time to hold this question/answer after you made the announcement, as a lot more people would have participated. Plus, it would have been great if you did it in the evening. Is this a possibility for the future?

I don't handle the scheduling but am told the Post generally does these chats between 11 am and 2 pm

You do not think that once the information comes out about Perry supporting/passing the Texas Dream Act for illegals in 2001........ Perry supporting amnesty, open borders, the Super Highway, etc., And, Perry being AGAINST the border fence and E-Verify..... that this is not going to hurt him???

I think the in-state tuition for the children of illegals is a problem -- and one that Romeny wants to exploit.  Romney vetoed similar legislation in Massachusetts -- something he points out on the campaign trail without mentioning Perry's name.  Perry's position on the fence is more nuanced. He wants to use technology, sensors, unmanned drones, etc to secure the border.

When Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, he did not take one dime from the citizens of Massachusetts for doing so. In other words, he was Governor of Massachusetts, and he did it for free! He gave the money that would have been his salary to charity!

His opponents will say you get what you pay for....

How long do you think this hype around Perry will last?  And why don't I remember there being this much hype around Romney when he first announced his candidacy?

I'm not sure it's hype.  He's clearly filling a vacuum in the GOP field for an experienced, unabashed conservative governor.  Interesting gallup poll recently that for the first time vast majority of Republicans are satisfied with the field and their choices in this race.   

Hi Marc -- Thanks for taking questions today. Keeping in mind that Pawlenty's failure to take on Romney directly in the debate held earlier this summer was seen by many as a fatal blow to Pawlenty's campaign, how do you think Romney will engage Perry when they appear together?

I think he's hoping to stay above the fray, and let Bachmann take him on -- or wait to see if Perry blows himself up.  Romney's advisors point out that Perry did not debate his 2010 Democratic gubernatoriral opponent and will have to perform in 5 debates in 6 weeks.  But you're right, with Perry pulling ahead Romney is increasingly in Pawlenty's shoes -- he needs Perry to stumble or he'll have to try to take him down

You do not think that it will hurt Perry when video/his own words are used against him regarding his opposition to Arizona's immigration laws? His opposition to E-Verify? What about his support for open borders and the Super Highway? Not only did Romney vote against instate tuition for illegals....He also gave the police the authority to investigate the citizenship of anyone that they came into contact with regarding some kind of crime. Perry was in office over 10 years and did NOTHING regarding illegals----until he decided that he might run for President. You do not think that this is going to destroy Perry?

Romney clearly hopes it will.  

Will Perry's Texan accent do him in? Think Bush.

I don't think it will do him in.  I watched him in New Hampshire and folks found him charismatic.  

How much do you think Perry's policies are responsible for Texas job growth, as opposed to policies he inherited or other factors like cheap housing? Do you think Bain Capital's record of creating wealth by restructuring corporations, which sometimes required layoffs along the way, will be an issue for Romney if he presents himself as a job-creator? Will voters care about either? Or will they just decide based on their preference for business experience or government experience in a state with a great job record? Thanks for considering my question.

I think whether you are president or governor, you get the credit or the blame for the economy during your tenure -- fairly or unfairly.  But the head of the Texas Federal Reserve -- who ran twice for Senate as a Democrat in Texas -- recently gave a speech saying that the reason jobs and people were coming to Texas was the tax, spending and regulatory policies there are conducive to growth.   

Signing off.  Thanks so much for all the great questions!

In This Chat
Marc Thiessen
Marc Thiessen's 15-year national security career has taken him from Capitol Hill to the Pentagon and the West Wing, where he served on the White House Senior Staff as chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush.

Since leaving the White House Thiessen has become one of the nation's most prolific authors and commentators, writing regularly for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review, Weekly Standard, Daily Beast, and other publications, and appearing frequently on Fox News, CNN, ABC News, the BBC, and talk radio stations nationwide.
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