SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Donning a rhinestone “PERRY 2012? pin on her sweater, Anita Perry knocked on doors on the tree-lined Fairlane Drive here in South Carolina this morning, pressing residents to consider voting for her husband in this presidential election.
“I’m out walking and hoping I can get people to vote for Rick Perry this morning for president,” she said as she spoke with a voter in the doorway of her home.
One woman told Perry she hoped the governor would perform better in Saturday night’s debate, but noted his slip-up Wednesday night showed he was human.
“Maybe he won’t stumble tonight,” the woman told Perry as she walked down the steps of her home.
“I hope not,” Perry answered with a laugh.
“That’s OK, that was quite fun. I think it showed he was human-like,” the woman said.
Perry promoted her husband’s economic plan as she stopped at the home of Richard Bagnell, who was decked out in a blue and orange striped polo shirt and a Clemson hat in preparation for Saturday’s game against Wake Forest.
“His Cut, Balance and Grow, balance the budget by 2020, and you can have a flat tax of 20 percent or you can do under the tax bracket where you are — we are now. It will eliminate the death tax. Should you die, you don’t lose your home as well and end the IRS as we know it today,” Perry said. “Social Security will be there for you under his plan, but for your 15-year-old and your son that just got back from Afghanistan, he wants to stand up for the young people and make sure it’s going to be there for them also.”
Bagnell, whose 23-year-old son Jay just returned from serving in Afghanistan, said he will likely wait until the day before the primary to make a decision on which candidate he will support, but said he hasn’t disqualified Perry based on his debate gaffe.
“I will actually make my decision as probably a lot of the Republicans when it comes the day before. I read every day what everybody has to say and I look at things and I see what other people react to them, because I know everybody tries to take a weakness, just like Gov. Perry had a little gaffe. That’s human,” Bagnell said. “Those things don’t bother me. That’s what I filter out. I want to hear substance. I want to hear specificity, and I want to hear clarity just exactly what you’ll do and how true.”
Anita Perry walked the neighborhood with Katon Dawson, the chair of the Perry campaign in South Carolina, and volunteers who continued the block walk after the Texas first lady left.
Dawson said most South Carolinians are still undecided in this election, and he argued Perry’s handling of the slip-up in Wednesday’s debate has proven he possesses the leadership and character that will resonate with voters, regardless of how difficult the recovery from the blunder will be.
“Rick Perry’s going to fit really well with this state, and his leadership ability, his character integrity have shown in the last couple of days,” Dawson said. “It’s never easy. It wasn’t easy before. I mean, ‘Oops’ kind of made it human, you know. I mean at the end of the day, it was something that happened.”