ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf (@zbyronwolf) reports:
If Rick Perry enters the presidential race as expected next week, he’ll be the third Evangelical Christian in the race for the Republican nomination.
Perry would join Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, which will give socially conservative voters a lot of choices when they vote in the primaries and take part in early caucuses.
Christian Broadcasting Network political reporter David Brody covers the issue as much as anyone and he had an apt analogy on ABC’s Top Line political program.
“I like to think of this as Goldilocks and the three Evangelicals,” he said. “There are three main ones main contenders and you have Goldilocks who's kind of sampling the porridge. In other words Goldilocks the voter you know, 'is Michele Bachmann too hot?' I don't mean physically – I'm talking about in terms of her rhetoric. 'Is Tim Pawlenty too cold? Does he not come across as exactly someone who’s going to pump up the crowd? Or is Rick Perry a guy that may be just right because he has the executive experience in Texas as the governor with the credentials to match?' Regarding job creation he's a Jesus-talking Evangelical who wears it on his sleeve and the Tea Party love him as well.”
But for Perry to be just the right temperature for social conservatives, he may have to temper some of his states'-rights beliefs. Already Perry has had to walk back comments he made in Aspen, Colo., that New York’s legalization of gay marriage should be ok since a state should have the right to govern itself.
“I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it’s fine with me,’ and that it’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed,” Perry said late in July.
Brody said Perry is “going to have to figure out exactly what his 15-second answer on this not his 7 minute answer not his white paper on this.”
“He's a strong 10th amendment guy,” said Brody. The 10th is the amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says laws not granted to the federal government and not prohibited to the states should be decided by the states. “He’s also for a federal marriage amendment some, sort of human life amendment on abortion, and he's for a balanced budget amendment, so we've got a 10th Amendment guy for three constitutional amendments. How does that square exactly with his overall philosophy from a government perspective? I think that’s going to be if not problematic something he’s going to have to deal with early and often when he gets in.”
Brody also weighed in on the controversial photo of Michele Bachmann on the cover of Newsweek. More than sexism, Brody sees the cover as an example of media bias against conservatism.
“Look, I mean there is no doubt this was a hit job, and the good news for Michele Bachmann here is that the folks out in Iowa and others aren't probably reading Newsweek as much as they're reading Newsmax.”