FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The Republican Party has apparently found itself a new messiah in Rick Perry.
The conservative Christian governor of Texas has come out of nowhere and has already lapped the Republican field for President.
In the two short weeks since he's entered the race, Perry has shot to the top of the polls and leads his nearest competitor by double digits.
The latest CNN/ORC International Poll shows 27% of Republicans supporting him, followed by Mitt Romney at 14%, Sarah Palin – who's not a candidate – at 10%, and Michele Bachmann and Rudy Giuliani – also not a candidate – at 9%. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul come in at 6%.
Perry's supporters tend to be older, white and rich, and his strongest backing comes from tea party supporters. He holds a whopping 23-point lead over Michele Bachmann among tea party members in one CNN poll.
It's an astonishing impact in so short a time, especially when Perry has managed to jump to the top of the pack without laying out a single plan or idea for solving America's problems.
Instead, Perry has spent the past two weeks making several dumb comments – while, in the proud tradition of President George W. Bush, pretending he's a cowboy.
Meanwhile, these poll numbers must have Romney's people tearing their hair out. Romney supporters are urging him to kick up his campaign a notch before it's too late. Which is likely why Romney has changed his schedule this weekend so he can attend two separate tea party events in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
And, as Politico reports, "Perry panic" has also fired up the left... something even President Obama has been unable to do recently.
Liberals are terrified at the thought of a President Perry when it comes to his stance on issues like women's rights, gun control, the death penalty and the separation of church and state.
Here’s my question to you: Why is Rick Perry suddenly the darling of the Republican field?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jim in Los Angeles:
Yippee-ki-yo-Yippee-ki-yay. Perry looks good, smells good, acts good, and thinks average. The cult movie "Idiocracy" gives us a hint at Perry's contribution to the political scene. "Dystopia… Advertising, Commercialism, Anti Intellectualism, resulting in a uniformly stupid society". Perry hastens that outcome.
John in Tampa, Florida:
Rick Perry is just the new kid in class. He's got about as much to offer as the other GOP candidates, which isn't much. Interest will wane when the new girl in class (someone named Sarah) shows up. Jack, it isn't about substance with this crowd.
EJ in Houston:
This answer is obvious to me Jack and I live in Texas. Rick Perry is NOT very bright. Just look at the candidates that the GOP seems to fall in love with. They love that folksy "aw shucks", "he's just one of us" persona and for some reason the less bright you appear to be the MORE they like you. President Bush was a nice guy but also not the brightest bulb in the lamp... Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Donald Trump. I think you get my drift.
Because a sucker is born every minute. Perry is just the latest huckster to come down the pike and unless he says something really stupid, his sound bites appeal to people tired of feeling like the government is giving money to everyone but them. Perry looks good, talks big, says nothing, just like the last darling of our country, President Obama. No wonder liberals are scared of him.
Kevin in California:
Because his message is simple, straightforward and comes from God.
Jay in Oklahoma:
He is at the top because there is both a lack of strength and sanity among the Republican candidates. I'm pretty conservative, but I don't know who I'm going to be able to vote for without throwing up a little.