GEORGETOWN, S.C. - If dogs could vote in the South Carolina primary next weekend, Rick Perry would have an extra boost to coast to a victory.
As the Texas governor weaved his way through lines of voters waiting to catch a glimpse of him on Main Street here, Perry made some time to chat with a few of man's best friends.
"They's a dog town. I like this place," Perry said.
Perry, who shines during one-on-one contact with voters, stopped to swoon at at least six different dogs along this downtown street while more than 40 voters showed up to greet Perry as he snuck in and out of stores along the walk.
Perry, who owns a black Labrador and a wiener dog, who turned 10 years old Friday, stole a few moments to pet dogs along the street, treating each puppy as he would an undecided voter, charming and posing for pictures with the animals.
"Baby girl, you sweet puppy," Perry said as he puckered his lips towards a white and brown spotted dog while its owner snapped a photo from his camera. "I have my picture made with the dog."
One dog owner told Perry his dog named Baxter is "backin' ya" in this primary.
"You got my back, Bax," Perry said, a play on his own phrase he's employed over the past week when he's asked South Carolina voters to have his back on January 21st.
When someone remarked that a white puppy named Cupcake supported him, Perry responded: "They all are. Dogs have the best instincts."
But the instincts of dogs might not translate into actual votes for the Texas governor, who trails most of the Republican field in South Carolina.
As he wrapped up his tour through downtown, Perry, who is depending on the Palmetto State to resurrect his struggling campaign, spoke with two furniture store owners who noted that North Carolina was trailing Florida State in basketball, to which Perry responded: "That's why we have elections. That's why they play the games. From time to time you get outscored."