Rick Perry’s Rehabilitation (The Note)

Nov 11, 2011 8:38am

By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone) and AMY WALTER (@amyewalter)

The clock is ticking on the Rick Perry rehabilitation effort.

With less than two months to go before the first votes of the Republican primary season are cast, the Texas governor’s campaign ends the week reeling from its latest debate setback only to face another contest tomorrow in South Carolina.

Perry spent most of yesterday in front of television cameras, seeking to explain away his embarrassing gaffe. He tried to regain his footing and his message even as his TV inquisitors peppered him with questions about the moment — what some have called the “oops” heard ’round the world.

His family got into the action too.

Anita Perry hit the campaign trail in Florida yesterday, defending her husband’s debate performance this way: “He may have forgotten a word last night, but you know what? He didn’t forget my anniversary — our anniversary — last week.”

In an interview last night with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Perry noted the words of support he received from his wife after failing on Wednesday night to name the third government agency he would eliminate upon becoming president. http://abcn.ws/upZiG9

“My wife said ‘I love you,’ Perry recounted in the interview.  “She just said, ‘Look, I love you.’”

Van Susteren asked whether perhaps his wife teased him a little about the gaffe. “She knew better than to tease me after that, I think,” the governor replied.

How Perry’s “opps” is playing in the early nominating states is crucial, and the Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs notes today that while a “handful” of Perry’s supporters in Iowa “are rethinking their choice … the majority of Iowa conservatives interviewed said the incident had done little to shake their support.” http://dmreg.co/rEalT8

And Perry still has his campaign war chest to fall back on. As Politico reported, “A source tracking the early state media buys said Perry’s campaign is currently spending more than $400,000 a week on television and radio advertising in Iowa … He’s also spending more than $100,000 a week on television advertising in New Hampshire and more than that blanketing Granite State radio.” http://politi.co/upFHoj

But money isn’t everything, and there are indications Perry may start to find it difficult to keep up his strong third-quarter fundraising pace.

“It’s been tough the last couple of weeks, and it’s going to get tougher,” one Perry donor told the Texas Tribune’s Jay Root. “Another acknowledged there has been ‘pullback’ from donors and said anything short of a strong showing in Iowa will likely doom his campaign — if it’s not doomed already.” http://bit.ly/rsBf0T

Perry will once again meet his fellow candidates on stage in Spartanburg, S.C. for a debate tomorrow night that will focus on foreign policy and national security. It’s yet another chance for redemption — if he can remember his lines.

ABC’s Arlette Saenz contributed reporting.

NEW 2012 NUMBERS: From a CBS News poll released today: “The field of Republican candidates now has three candidates within striking distance of each other at the top of the list: with 18 percent, Herman Cain is in the top spot, followed by Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich with 15% each. Support for both Cain and Romney has declined since late last month, and Gingrich is the only one of the top three whose support is steadily – if slowly – on the upswing.” http://bit.ly/uzqMLL

 

RICK PERRY’S TOP 10 LIST:

Rick Perry attempted to get in front of his debate gaffe Thursday by appearing on eight television shows, including a cameo reading the Top 10 List of Best Rick Perry Excuses on the “Late Show with David Letterman.” http://abcn.ws/ua5WMG

10. Actually there were three reasons I messed up last night 1) was the nerves 2) was the headache and 3) um…..uh….ooops

9. I don’t know what you’re talking about I think things went well.

8. Hey I was up late last night watching “Dancing with the Stars”

7. I thought the debate was tonight.

6. Hey listen you try concentrating when Mitt Romney’s smiling at you.  That is one handsome dude.

5. Uh, El Nino?

4. I had a five hour energy drink six hours before the debate

3. You know I really hoped it would get me on my favorite talk show but instead I ended up here

2. I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.

1. I just learned Justin Bieber is my father

On “Good Morning America” today, ABC’s John Berman took a closer look at how Perry has tried to turn a flub into funny. http://abcn.ws/syjNgk

‘OOPS’ HALL OF FAME. Courtesy of Z. Byron Wolf: You probably guessed sweaty Richard Nixon and “soviet domination” Gerald Ford. But you probably haven’t heard of Patricia Madrid, the New Mexico Democrat who had her own version of a brain freeze.  Nixon overcame his sweaty and uncomfortable appearance after 12 days in the hospital in 1960 to win election 8 years later. http://abcn.ws/vBd8VP

 

GABBY GIFFORDS SPEAKS. For the first time since the attack at a Tucson supermarket, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords speaks publicly — doing her best to sum up the nine months of pain and rehabilitation she’s endured. “How do you feel?” Diane Sawyer asks Giffords during her time with her and Kelly. It is the first time the two have shared their story since the attack. “Pretty good,” says Giffords. “Is it painful?” Sawyer asks. “It’s difficult,” says Giffords. “Difficult.” Watch Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly Share Their Story with Diane Sawyer Exclusively on Monday, Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. CT on ABC. http://abcn.ws/uP2m2a

 

ON TODAY’S “TOP LINE”: BEAU BIDEN. ABC’s Rick Klein sits down with Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden. Biden will be talking about the massive pedophile case Delaware just litigated, and offering his insights into the Penn State University scandal. Also on the program, Ambassador James Hormel, author of the book, “Fit to Serve.” Hormel was the first openly gay U.S. ambassador. Watch “Top Line” LIVE at 12:00 p.m. Eastern. http://abcn.ws/toplineliveabc 

 

THE BUZZ

WHY OHIO’S UNION VOTE MATTERS. “This week’s resounding vote in Ohio repudiating a Republican antiunion law should provide a clear warning to the congressional deficit-reduction super committee, especially its GOP members,” the National Journal’s Ron Brownstein writes. “The lopsided ballot-initiative result repealing Republican Gov. John Kasich’s prized SB 5 legislation restricting collective-bargaining rights for public employees reaffirms a lesson evident from the past three decades of budget wars in Washington: It is virtually impossible to sell voters on a significant retrenchment of public benefits without bipartisan support and a compelling case that the changes are linked to broadly shared sacrifice. That message is especially important for Republicans, because one of the biggest hurdles to a comprehensive deficit agreement is the expectation among many in the GOP that after the 2012 election they will hold unified control of Congress and the White House and can simply impose their preferred solutions without compromise or political cost. History — underlined by this week’s Ohio result — suggests that expectation represents a huge gamble.” http://bit.ly/vCzuXL

SANTORUM CALLS FOR PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE ON IRAN. From ABC’s Shushannah Walshe in New Boston, N.H.: Rick Santorum said the United States should be open to a military strike to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. “A country that is developing a weapon of mass destruction to use it to destroy another country must be stopped in a preemptive strike,” Santorum told a crowd of about 50 people in a rural part of New Hampshire this evening. This was his second policy speech in a series of three in his “Faith, Family and Freedom” tour. This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran appeared to be developing nuclear weapons. Santorum said that, if he is elected president, he would support pro-Democracy groups in Iran, work closely with Israel to stop any Iranian nuclear program. http://abcn.ws/w4WCRy

ROMNEY FOCUSES ON MICHIGAN ROOTS.It was a family affair at Mitt Romney’s rally today outside Detroit, where nearly a dozen members of the presidential candidate’s family came to hear him speak 6 miles from where he grew up and began life with his wife, Ann,” ABC’s Emily Friedman notes. “Leaning heavily on his personal history in Michigan, Romney began the event by listing the reasons why he loved the state before launching into his usual stump speech in which he focused  on the state of the economy. ‘We’re in Michigan today. I love being in Michigan,’ Romney began. ‘You know, I come back to Michigan and the trees are the right height, the grass is the right color for this time of the year, kind of a brownish greenish sort of thing. It just feels right.’ At one point, Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, and his oldest granddaughter, Allie, joined him on the stage. Romney’s brother Scott was in the audience with his wife, and his niece, Ronna, introduced him. Ann Romney pointed out at least three of her cousins who were also in the audience. Romney’s father, George Romney, was the governor of Michigan between 1963 and 1969, during which he also ran for the White House.” http://abcn.ws/rwT2ZL

DOMA REPEAL MOVES AHEAD. “Senate Democrats’ efforts to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), took a procedural step forward today - but final passage into law faces a very uphill climb,” ABC’s Sunlen Miller reports. “By a party-line vote of 10-8, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the repeal of DOMA, the Clinton administration law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a union, out of committee by voting for the Respect for Marriage Act bill. ‘So we begin with a single step on a march to equality,’ committee chairman  Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said at a news conference following the vote. ‘Marriage is a matter for the states to determine — whether it’s my state or any other state. And those Americans who are lawfully married should have the same protection under federal laws that my wife and I enjoy.’” http://abcn.ws/tcPilK

 

WHO’S TWEETING?

@jaketapper: To all the veterans out there — from @markos to @SenJohnMcCain– my family and I thank you.

@HotlineJess: So proud, today and everyday, to be the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran. Thanks for your service, Dad!

@kalpenn: Happy Veterans Day to all who have served & sacrificed so much. Big ups to our brave men & women currently serving.tinyurl.com/c7dj328

@GlennThrush: Remembering Richard Thrush USN on Veterans Day

@EdBrookover: God Bless all those who have served our country in the name of Liberty and Freedom.

@AliEWentworth: Thank you Veterans!!!!

 

POLITICAL RADAR.

* HERMAN CAIN holds fundraising receptions at the Russian Tea Room and Club 101 in New York City.

* MITT ROMNEY holds a roundtable with veterans at Mutt’s BBQ in Mauldin, S.C.

* RICK PERRY and MICHELE BACHMANN attend the City of Columbia Veterans Day Parade in Columbia, S.C.

* NEWT GINGRICH joins veteran for breakfast at the Country Cookin’ Circle Restaurant in New Hampshire and attends the opening of his state headquarters in Manchester, N.H.

* RON PAUL attends a town hall meeting at The Governor’s Inn in Rochester, N.H.

* JON HUNTSMAN attends a ceremony at Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, N.H. He tours Next Step Orthotics and Prosthetics in Manchester and holds a town hall at The American Legion Post in Hudson, NH.

* RICK SANTORUM attends luncheon for members of the Fairfield County Republican Party at YesterYears Restaurant in Ridgeway, S.C. and holds a “Faith, Family, Freedom” Town Hall at Poynor Community Center in Florence, S.C. followed by an ice cream reception and a “Barbeque in the Barn” hosted by former S.C. Gov David Beasley in Society Hill.

 Check out The Note’s Futures Calendar: http://abcn.ws/ZI9gV

 

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* For breaking political news and analysis check out The Note blog: http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/and ABCNews.com/Politics: http://abcnews.com/politics

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