Why is Rick Perry suddenly the darling of the Republican field?
August 31st, 2011
04:16 PM ET

Why is Rick Perry suddenly the darling of the Republican field?

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.

soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Governor Perry is the Pet Rock or the Mood Ring of the Republican primary field. People will go out and buy a novelty before they ltake a good look at it and regret the purchase. Governor Perry's 15 minutes will not last through election day 2012.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  2. nick @ Mammoth Lakes, CA

    Rick Perry is popular right now because no one knows very much about him or his policies. 'He's a good lookin rascal'. He also knows how to answer a question with a glib one-liner that doesn't really answer the question. Reagan had that talent.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  3. Fay in Abilene Tx

    He is my governor.Believe me, I want an answer to that one, too.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  4. John James

    It is quite simple-there is not a single candidate that will appeal to the country in the republican party. All we have is people who want other people to pay the taxes so they don't have to pay any money. Maybe it is time for a flat tax of 5% on all items purchased with no one paying less. This will give people money and we need to have Works Project Agency for interastructure. oak Hill, West Virginia

    August 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  5. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    It all comes back to the old expression: Nobody ever went broke (or lost an election) by underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  6. John from Alabama

    Jack: Governor Rick Perry sounds and acts like the Republicans favorite son, President George W. Bush. Rick Perry shoots from the hip, and uses Texas slang like its a badge of genius. Governor Rick Perry says stupid things not to get attention, but because he is actually stupid. I believe Texas has alot to offer the United States, but Governor Rick Perry is a bad example, but then the Republicans like bad example, like George W. and Richard Nixoon. Texas use to produce statesman, but Rick Perry is just another clown in political clothing.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  7. Joe

    cause he is the only slow kid out of the bunch, that isn't eating as much paste.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  8. Pete in Georgia

    Why ??
    It may be as simple as that he reminds folks that he is a true red white and blue American...........thru and thru.
    How's THAT for a change ??? What a concept !!!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  9. lucille s.


    Rick Perry is the darling of the Republicans because he appears to be the sharpest knife in the drawer compared to the rest of them (and that's not saying much).

    August 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  10. Terry in Virginia

    I dunno. After an earthquake and Hurricane Irene, Perry is another natural disaster we don't need. He couldn't pay me to vote for him and I need the money.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  11. Gerry

    Rick Perry is a maverick and not part of the status quo. Whether he can hold on to his lead for the long term remains to be seen. Donald Trump, also a maverick fizzled out early. While Americans love an underdog and outsider which both Perry and Trump are their ability to go the length remains to be seen. If the election was today I would vote for Perry unless he shoots himself in the foot before I get to the ballot box.

    Ash Fork, Az.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  12. James Springfield, VA

    The reason is because people such as yourself keep talking about him. The solution is very simple: stop talking about them, do not give them the attention and they will go away.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  13. Jim

    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 contriibution to the political scene. "Dystopia..Advertising, Cmmercialism, Anti Intelectualism, resulting in a uniformely stupid society" Perry hastens that outcome.
    Los Angeles

    August 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  14. Riitta LeMay

    Because he is loud! Some folks believe that means he is a go-getter! But it only means he is loud!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  15. Frances

    The tea party Republicans seem to keep looking for the looniest of the righties. They have looked at O'Donnell, Angle, Gingrich, Palin, West, Sanitorium, Trump, Bachmann, now they have reached for the loony preacher, anti-government, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-worker, Rick Perry.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  16. Jim in Alabama

    Jack, because Perry is the loudest right now and says what the Republicans extremists want to hear. Most everyone else us wary of him and with his positions on Social Security and Medicare, along with seperation of church and state,they'd better be wary. This guy sounds like another snake oil salesman Governor from Texas we know well.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  17. marcia in charles town,wv

    Guess when you have a basket of rotten apples you got to get some of them out to make a pie.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  18. lil magothy from Annapolis

    Because, although is as idiotic and ignorant as Michelle Bachmann, he is not as shrill and does not have that glazed look of insanity in his eyes; he is livelier than Mitt Romney, the wooden stick of the party, although, if you check his past writings and pronouncements, he has flip-flopped as much, if not more, than Mitt; he speaks in half truths and sound bites which tea pottiers like, because it saves them from thinking; he's much more entertaining than John Huntsman, who actually makes reasoned, unimpassioned, factual statements which republicans find boring; and he tells his followers what they want to hear, nevermind that it has no basis in reality. With any luck, his base will be loud enough to get him nominated and his dishonesty, hypocrisy, and theocracy will be enough to keep moderate Americans from electing him.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  19. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Because he is the polar opposite of Obama-Everything that he's done is just the opposite of what he has said.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  20. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Well,Jack,it's pretty simple,he is new,he has charisma,and Governor Christie isn't running!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  21. pat, Idaho

    You have to be careful with your first "love" Looked what happened with Obama

    August 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  22. Ed from Texas

    Because Republican primary voters are authoritarians, libertarians and nativists. Even though I'm from Texas, one cowboy in the White House during my lifetime has been enough.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  23. Rob

    Rob Buford, GA

    Probably because of the enormous amount of media attention he received before he was a candidate, over contenders like Gary Johnson and Ron Paul, who have had a proverbial black listing. With the exception being you of course Cafferty.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  24. Lori - PA


    He's the shiny new penny. But just like any new penny, his image will eventually tarnish, people will begin to see his flaws, and then, hopefully, realize that he's not the right person to be President of the United States. But to be fair, none of the candidates are the right person to be President of the United States. Ron Paul came close, but then he had to go and say something negative about FEMA just as Hurricane Irene slammed into the East Coast.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  25. John G

    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 wain when the new girl in class (someone named Sarah) shows up.

    Jack it isn't about substance with this crowd.

    John in Tampa, FL

    August 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  26. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I think that up until Perry came along they really had no one running that had any chance of winning against Obama. Romney got pushed out by McCain and Palin last time and it is obvious he wasn't going to make it this time either. Perry has very little to offer the republicans or the country but he is better then nothing which is exactly what they had. Unfortunately Obama will be re-elected for another 4 years but maybe by then the voters will be ready for another republican in the Whitehouse. The memories of Bush are still much too clear for that to happen this election cycle.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  27. Ron WPAFB

    Jack, in the imortal words of Forest Gump, "Stupid is as Stupid does"!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  28. Carla in Birmingham

    You answered your own question, Jack: "Perry's supporters tend to be old, white and rich." That pretty much explains it. They are out to protect their wealth from taxes and to save the world for the good ol' boys. As for the qualities that appeal to that demographic, he's George Bush with better hair, doesn't give a flip for the indigent and elderly, and is yet another religious wingnut. Now if that wouldn't win the heart of Ann Coulter herself, I can't imagine what would.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  29. Doug

    I really don't know for sure, but here is a guess. Perry represents the common denomnator for the Theocratic types to compete against Obamas Secularist followers. However, Perry's current glory will evaporate faster than chiken spit on a Texas sidewalk when Palin announces she is running . Doug.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  30. Doug

    The Republicans are so disenchanted with their choices to date, they embrace anyone new hoping he/she is THE ONE! A few more gaffes by Gov Perry and they will be waiting to embrace the next potential saviour.

    Marmora NJ

    August 31, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  31. Sylvia from San Diego

    Because that Texan accent is bringing back memories of when our nation prospered and we were respected throughout the world with another Texan in charge..... Yes, those were the good old days!!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  32. Bill in houston

    ...because they have nothing else!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  33. EJ in Metro Houston

    this answer is obvious to me Jack and I live in Texas...Rick Perry is NOT very bright and he LOOKS not very bright. And just look at the candidates that the GOP seem to fall in love with. They love that folksey "aw shucks" "he's just one of us" persona and for some reason the less bright you appear to be the MORE the like you. President Bush was a nice guy but also not the brightess bulb in the lamp........Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Donald Trump. I think you get my drift.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  34. Hawgcaller*

    Because the Replicans are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  35. Ann from Charleston SC

    Rick Perry evidently resonates with old rich white Republican voters. Makes me wonder if I live in the same country as these people.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  36. Loren

    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 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.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  37. Sean in Dallas

    People often say things that, simply put, are stupid. Things like "let's just refuse to raise the debt ceiling" or "Obama is Muslim" or "Obama wants to put Grandma in front of a death panel". Rick Perry has a treasure trove of these sorts of statements in his head. He doesn't care if what he says is true, or just plain ungentlemanly. As long as he gets those messages out to those that don't know any better, Perry knows he can get the votes. Picture an elderly gentleman rolling out of the foodstamp office on a medicare-funded scooter wearing a Perry for President T-shirt. The truth doesn't matter. It's all about saying stupid things that uninformed people will buy. That's what's making him the new GOP darling.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  38. Thomas in South Carolina

    He's fiscally liberal enough for the establishment to like him and socially conservative enough for the tea party to like him. We need the exact opposite, what a disaster!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  39. Ed from California

    Because Perry speaks their "language". That language being, gun toting "christian", he hears voices in his head, racial hater, Easy Rider rifle-rack, pick-up-drive'n "Cowboy", along with, "I will not raise taxes on the "American People"(Those people being the super wealthy. Those people who donate huge sums of money to his campaign). Perry will get out the vote..........the democratic vote.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  40. David of Alexandria VA

    Because he's new, plain-spoken, and appealing to the rightest of the party. But, I'd tell Mitt what my mother used to say - "don't worry, this too shall pass."

    August 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  41. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    In the immortal words of Forrest Gump: "Stupid is as stupid does."

    God save us from ourselves.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  42. lou

    The repbulican voters of today are a case study for the Dunning-Kruger Effect : It's a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes. These polls show a bunch of mis or underinformed people casting their lot with a guy they know very little about, but their blissful ignorance about him only makes them more confident he's the one.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  43. Bert in El Monte, CA

    Jack, it’s not Bush who began a tradition of playing cowboy; that was Reagan. Perry is playing Reagan complete with the appeal to religion act and the God save global corporations from the American people act. That explains the otherwise mismatch of the “Base” who claims to love America and corporatists with allegiance only to putting profits in the pockets of shareholders worldwide!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  44. Kevin in CA

    Because his message is simple, straightforward and comes from God.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  45. pat in michigan

    I believe this guy is a snake oil salesman to the enth degree. Bearing his cross of virtue and draped in the American Flag. Appearing the savior of the religious right that are fed up funding the lazy left.
    Love thy neighbor as thyself but not with my tax dollars.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  46. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Welcome back Jack, we've missed you. Rick Perry walks and talks like "The Duke" but this is not Hollywood, or is it? Let's see what the numbers are after the first debate.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  47. Mr. D

    Just like an old western-a new stranger comes riding into town looking like he wants to clean up the place. Something new to fight the pervasive boredom of the old west. Let's see if he can get off of his horse without falling. Remember, familiariity breeds contempt.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  48. Sandra

    That's easy. He's a white male who gives huge incentives to the wealthy and caters to the religious right. He preaches less government, but has no problem governing how people live their personal lives. He has a knack for making people think that he isn't a politician even though he's been drawing his paycheck from the government for his entire adult life. He plays the role of good old boy and acts like he's just like everyone else. It's scary that somewhere along the way, people began believing that uninformed, bigoted people were good choices for political office.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  49. Tom in Desoto, TX

    He's further to the right, if that's possible, draconian and he holds up a bible and tries to make people believe he has a hot line phone to some deity. It also helps getting to #1 when the rest of the field can't put together a team, it's not difficult to be #1 with that kind of competition. As for having support from the Tea Cup people, they don't really want to live in the world they speak of.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  50. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    He is against Social Security and Medicare. Republicans oppose Social Security and medicare. He is anti-education. Republicans are anti-education. He sucks up to wealthy campaign contributors. Republicans suck up to the wealthy. Why wouldn't they love him?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  51. Dennis north carolina

    Perry is a clone George bush JR, He acts and talks like Bush so the republicans love him especially the very conservative part of the party.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  52. Rod Mannion

    It is the Im not Mitt Romney factor. Even though he is another Texas govenor I think Perry has a better chance of beating Obama. Obama clearly would rather face Romney. Romneys Mass health care issue makes him a loser to Obama in the end. Romney also has this sort of deer in the headlights Ken and Barbie wooden persona. I get uncomfortable even listening to one of his speeches.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  53. RL Burnette

    He is popular because he has Jesus in his heart. So simple a child can get it, yet so mind blowing scholars and the most intelligent or hateful of us will deject the idea. As a Christian who believes firmly in the infalliable word of God, yes, radical, evangelical Christians are going to be for this guy! He believes in everything true blue Christians hold dear. He is not wishy-washy, he is bold, he doesn't care if people like him or not based on what he believes because he knows what he believes is the truth. He will do well, I pray he wins the Republican primary, we need God in this country, he is determined to make Jesus famous again here in America, I support him 110%!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  54. Brad, Portland, OR

    The candidate most hostile to science and logic rises to the top in the Republican party. So Perry's the favorite.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  55. James

    (Denver) Many Republicans were unsatisfied with their choices prior to Rick Perry's candidacy. He is a new face and looks good on TV. Novelty is a strange qualification for a President, but it seems to be one driving factor.
    Other than this, he is claiming to be the reason for job creation in TX. Truth: TX lost 40,000 private sector jobs since 98 and created over 100,000 government jobs due to Obama's stimulus. So, Obama will annihilate his claim as "job creator" by saying, "Yes, TX created jobs due to my stimulus. You're welcome Governor. Too bad you passed no new legislation on jobs in your tenure or you could claim responsibility for those jobs instead of me." Perry's record is going to work against him. The GOP better wise up, abandon novelty, and choose the other TX man in the race.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  56. Rick McDaniel

    He is not talking about social issues.......but rather the state of government, and the economy. That makes him the stronger candidate, because when it comes down to the bottom line, the social issues are not the most important issues, with the voters.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  57. Bermille

    Because republicans have no memory for history. They only want to remember a day when there was a white guy in the white house with an R by his name and forget what exactly happened to cause one of the biggest economic disasters since 1929.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  58. Marc

    one word: greed

    August 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  59. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    Rick Perry is the new "darling" because he is spouting the same old "Teavangelist" tripe that brings out "social consevatives" who dominate Republican primaries and caucuses. he could very well WIN the Republican nomination but I doubt that when the average American voter, and esp seniors, read his plan for America in his "Fed Up!" book, that they would vote for this pistol packing, bible thumping, Texas seceding, social security and medicare eliminating re-run of George W Bush in a general election.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  60. Don

    Stupid is as stupid does........

    Don, West Orange, NJ

    August 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  61. calaurore9

    Perry's dumb comments go wayyyy back. Once they are brought to light, he will go from darling to done. Romney is so weak that Repubs are grasping at any new blood. Remember Trump's poll numbers?

    Carol in Ma

    August 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  62. Eddy

    The reason Perry's run to the front of the pack is precisely because he has no ideas. Ideas have become toxic in the Republican party, so someone without any is their obvious leader.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  63. Adem, oakland

    ...very simple..because he is notorious at making stupid remarks against federal reserve chairman and science.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  64. Michael, Chapel Hill

    TX is one ot the states where economy is doing fine. It is supposed to be Perry's initiative. So there is no wonder why GOP has hope for Perry.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  65. Shirikodama

    What is the definition of insanity? Electing a Texas Governor over and over and expecting different results?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  66. Tom O

    Of course he's their darling, he's a Christian, and the best of the worst. America, wake up! and remember what happened when the last Cow Boy was in the white house. History shows that Perry will do anything to win an election, this included.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  67. Bruce Wright

    Because all of their other possible candidates are clear embarrassments. They don't know much about him yet but he will probably blow over much as their other loonies have. As a progressive Democrat I can only hope the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot with a crazy candidate and do for their part what many of us did for the Democrats after 1968.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  68. Jimm

    Its simple. He is hitting all of the Tea Party's (who has taken over the GOP) talking points:

    Social Security is bad, healthcare is bad, taxes are bad, state's right are good...except for same sex marriage, pro-choice is bad, abortions should be illegal. Separation of church and state is bad, promoting religious is good, government spending is bad, tax cuts are good. Clean air and water is bad, businesses self regulation is good. See its a GOP dream.

    Forget that he has no actual proposals to address the economy or unemployment or anything else. But then again, neither do any of the other candidates.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  69. AmesIA

    I think you answered your question for yourself. "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." The Straw Pollers and rally attendees are pro-life, pro-gun, pro-death penalty (no irony there) and evangelical.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  70. John

    "Why is Rick Perry suddenly the darling of the Republican field?"
    After the rise of Sarah Palin the answer to that question should be obvious. Shallow people are enamored with a pretty face. That's all it takes.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  71. Hans V

    ack, because the Republicans are desperate. Look, they are standing behind a guy who was praying for rain as a solution. Need I say more?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  72. Bob Knox

    He is having his 15 minutes of fame. And I woudl be careful to call him the republican darling. A lot of my republican friends are bemoaning that the GOP has not become a CUT (Cup of Tea) party with no basis for winning a general election. If President Obama wants the middle independents back, then all he has to do is watch the republicans pander to the Tea Party right.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  73. Tom Williams

    It would be unfair to say "Ricky" is "All Hat and no Cattle" as he would likely put his hat on backwards and he does not know the difference between a "Cow and a Jackalope". He is just another Texas windbag who is a legend in his own mind.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  74. john

    Cafferty, u being liberal, u can't handle the truth that the country is being ruined day by day, little by little. U know I am a democrat and I am ashamed to say that I voted for Obama.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  75. Andy from Connecticut

    Rick Perry is the darling of the Tea Party because he is crazy. He is the darling of the media because he is crazy. We just have to hope 51% of the American voters are not crazy.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  76. Dennis

    because the bar is really low.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  77. PittUSMC

    The fact that he is a Bilderberg puppet and the mainstream media shove him down everyone's throat might have something to do with it. His blatant "End the Fed" plagiarism from Ron Paul is an empty promise. He will be status quo business as usual. He will serve the banks, corporations, and continue to expand our war footprint just like Obama and Bush (both Bilderberg Group selectees) before him.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  78. Lawyer from Amarillo

    We Texans are rooting for him to be the GOP nominee for two reasons: because it keeps him busy and away from our state and because he'll be soundly defeated in the general election. Maybe that will finally put an end to the damage he has been doing to Texas for the last 10 years.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  79. Robert Q

    He is essentially the only conservative candidate that has a chance of winning. Who else would the tea party support, a Mormon, blasphemy.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  80. Brian

    Because Rick Perry reminds them of George Bush .They feel they made out the best with the tax breaks and bailouts.So,why not try again. Americans might just be dumb enough to let them have another go at it.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  81. Texas Pete

    Perry is a joke. Hopefully he will quit running as he will doom the country to 4 more years of Obama.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  82. Pixie

    It is called Bilerberg support

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  83. Leroy

    All I will say is:

    Read my lips: NO NEW TEXANS !!!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  84. Roland - Illinois

    Many years ago the GOP became the Pat Robertson/Jerry Farwell Social Conservative Party. Long gone is the Fiscal Conservative Party. Too many people use the word "Conservative" in general terms. There is a BIG difference between Fiscal and Social. Ronald Regan could not win this years GOP nomination. It is all about what makes you feel good, not what makes fiscal sense. Perry was a Democrate during the Al Gore run. He will say whatever they want to hear. Very disappointing to see so many Americans that cut their nose off to spite their face. ;ie Tea Party....

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  85. Tom V

    Although I hate Perry with a passion, Perry is definitely not pretending to be a cowboy. He grew up a cotton farmer and went to A&M for an agriculture degree. If there is anything Perry knows about, its cows and sheep.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  86. Jeff in San Diego

    My guess is that Republicans have had a hard time dealing with the fact that GW Bush ran the country into the ground and they want a Mulligan by electing his clone.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  87. T3chsupport

    He's the shiniest, dangliest keychain they've ever seen.
    Look, squirrel!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |

    Jack, have you really listened to the other republican candidates? With such inept competition, republicans are desperate for someone, anyone who is charismatic and mysterious enough to hold ones attention for more than two and a half minutes. Once he gets into a serious debate with either his republican competitors or President Obama, then the real Rick Perry will show-up. Then watch the polls make a dramatic change.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  89. Ed S.

    He's an in your face what you see is what you get kind of a candidate who exudes confidence and espouses conservative values. The kind of back slapping, down home type of leader that the right loves to get behind and who will act in the best interests of the wealthy and powerful. Just what this country needs, 4 more years of George W. Bush type Leadership.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  90. Dave

    Because the GOP still hasn't realized that the fringe elements of the party, while the most vocal, are still not the majority..

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  91. mark

    dunce equilibrium

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  92. Alex K

    He's the darling of the Republican field because people who don't think usually go for the candidate who looks the best in a suit and has the best hair.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  93. Anomic Office Drone

    Let's be real about this. Perry is the Tea Party's latest crush because he tells them what they want to hear and doesn't let facts get in the way.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  94. George from North Carolina

    Loudmouth Perry and his bellicose language drown out the real issues facing America and for the tea party crowd that look better than standing around with their fingers in their ears trying to ignore all those inconvient facts.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  95. Dan K

    Jack: The reason he is the darling of the Republican Party now is because:
    1.He is the latest thing in the race
    2.He is good looking and charismatic with his appearance and speech
    3 He has pandered to the right wing evangelical Christian base with his holier than thou speeches
    4.He hasn’t said too many stupid things yet! (you note I said YET)!!
    All we need is another Texas career political millionaire to run our country!!! Poor and middle class Ya’ll beware! Grab your butt and hang on He’s gonna give it to you Texas style!!!
    Dan K. Owens Cross roads Alabama

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  96. oneSTARman

    AKA David from Walla Walla, WA USA – Why does the GOP/Tea Party LOVE Perry? The Same Reason He was Elected Governor of Texas – because he does such a DANDY W Impersonation.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  97. Biff Loehman

    Beggars can't be choosers; it's still a race for second place.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  98. Jerrkyrichmond

    I believe Romney is a Flip Flop Politician. I also believe when Perry says something, he means every word of it. I will vote for a man who says whats on his mind. At least I know where he's coming from!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  99. Vern

    Because Perry is a typical teaparty, loud and willing to tell any lies to get where he want to be. He's a bag of hot air!! If he should win the presidency...GOD HELP US ALL!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  100. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    Jack, this is all we need–a potential President who is only slightly smarter than George Bush and a politician who uses his religion to influence non-thinking and uneducated voters. If he loves America as much as he says, why did he bring up the idea of Texas seceding from the Union? The Republican field this year is lacking in any substance, although Ron Paul can at least express his views clearly, although I disagree with them. I wouldn't even think about voting for anyone else but Barack Obama in 2012.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  101. Tim Kelley

    Nobody knows you are stupid until you open your mouth. Perry remained silent as long as possible and it has served him well. Now he has to open his mouth on the campaign trail, we will see how long he last.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  102. Sue

    The Tea Party and conservative republicans are obsessed with driving out Obama. Human right issues and social concerns be damned! Do they realize that Perry is threatening their Social Security checks and their Medicare? No! God, good hair and "cowboyism" trump rational thinking!

    Sue, Texas

    August 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  103. Jim, San Antonio

    The typical Tea Party voter is looking for the candidate who will say the wildest things, propose the most radical agenda, and slam Obama at every opportunity. They want someone just like themselves.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  104. Odis

    He's ahead because the party doesn't much care for Romney and they silently think that Bachman, Paul, Cain and the rest of the dwarfs are either crazy or delusional. He's just the best of the worst.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  105. Trish Jones

    For the very reasons you mentioned the liberals are terrified: "his stance on issues like women's rights, gun control, the death penalty and the separation of church and state." We want our country back in our hands, not those of liberal judges who make laws rather than interpret them; morally bankrupt and fiscally irresponsible leaders; and those who display utter contempt for the majority of Americans. Perry looks, sounds and acts like a president – and his record backs him up.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  106. David LaBossiere Marlborough, MA

    You said it already Jack. He's backed by rich white men who believe evryone should have a gun and women should be back in the kitchen putting dinner on the table. Thats what the Tea Party wants, to take us back to the dark ages. He's just thier man to do it! The paralels to the 1930's Germany are incredible......scary.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  107. Dimi

    GOP has a bunch of noisy and crazy people, that's why.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  108. Drake in Vancouver

    The answer is in the article – 'Perry's supporters tend to be older, white and rich'.
    They really don't want to change anything. They have made it just fine with things the way they are and Perry promises more of the same.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  109. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    I'm glad you asked Jack ! Well he was appointed Governor of Texas by George W. Bush, the man that later became Presidented by being selected by the GOP seats in the Supreme Court. I imagine the Perry Camp and the former President have struck a deal and it probably goes something like this. If we help you (Rick Perry) get elected you need to not investigate,indict and bring to trial, the former Bush Adminstraion and Big Oil for War Crimes or any other Crimes. President Obama seems to not remember his campaign promise of ending Scooter Libby Justice and the old Bush Administration definity would like something more concrete, because President Obama might start remembering some of his campaign promises that helped him get elected in the last election and he may even to consider using them again in the up and coming campaign. Even though President Obama has shown us time and time again that he's not willing to fight for any of his campaign promises, there is always a slim out side chance he... might and thats just to much for the people wielding the Power(BIg OIl and the former Bush Administration), thus Perry is the horse to watch.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  110. Erin, Edmonds, Washington

    Rick Perry is someone new– like Sarah Palin was when John McCain picked her to be his running mate. This may also be a case of not being fully vetted on the national scene. He's taking a lot of loud credit for things he hasn't really done–unless you call disenfranchising a good part of the population of Texas an accomplishment. The extreme right seems to love him–the same 20 percent that thought George W. Bush was a good president. But to get the vote of the moderates, independents, women and other demographics, he will have to come up with something much better.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  111. Stuart

    Why Rick Perry? Because we are a nation of stupid, Hollywood schooled, impotent voters that somehow believe that a swagger, a six shooter, and a bible will put our ill directed nation back on track. Really? Did we learn anything from eight years of W?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  112. Kelvn Mays

    He is exactly like the 25% or so of the American people who like him. The other 75% will never agree with him and those who vote of that 75% won't vote for him. The question how many of the 75% will vote the 25% always vote.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  113. Jason

    Because he's everything Obama is not.

    Decisive, Fast-Acting, Terrible Student, Male Cheerleader.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  114. ent

    ...do you really have to ask? Just take a look at the other GOP candidates (with the sole exception of Huntsman), and you'll see that no matter how fervently one can espouse a deep belief and love for so-called conservative values, the hard fact still remains that they're all unelectable in one way or another. Perry is the only one with any amount of appeal to independents like us, since it looks like there's no way Huntsman will make it to the front of the pack.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  115. teetx

    Rick Perry is the male Sarah Palin to Republicans. Pretty and ignorant, just like they like their candidates these days.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  116. larry frieden

    YOu asked by Perry is leading the GOP hopefulls, the simple answer is that the GOP can't find a suitable candidate to run. God forbid Perry get elected. I can't wait till the real Perry is exposed.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  117. Carl Cutrone

    The Republican Party has been hijacked by simple minded folk who only like simple minded solutions. Rick Perry offers simple minded solutions. Therefore, he is understood.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  118. Frank

    Perry has become the darling because while he has made some dumb statements, he, unlike Bachmann and Palin, has not made any out and out wrong statements. Also, unlike Romney and the others, he is from Texas (the South). I lived in Texas for four years with Perry as Governor and I would not vote for him if it would keep me alive. He's an idiot and I've been a Republican for 47 years.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  119. Dan

    Perry will also come crashing down once people have had a real chance to "look under the hood". He is like a Groupon IPO. All flash, but when really analyzed people will flee from it.
    I support a lot of the Tea Party ideals. But I cannot stomach the thought of Rick Perry as President. Or Palin, for that matter.
    So, go Mitt Romney 2012, unless Chris Christie agrees to run after all.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  120. Eric Meyer

    Maybe it's America's familiarity with George Bush that's rubbing off on Perry. It seems each candidate in the Republican field has a few quirks, but then again so does Perry. The Republican base seems to feed off of extreme comments, no matter how silly they are. Remember "death panels" and Sarah Palin? (death panels were Politifacts lie of the year last year).

    August 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  121. Ben Neal

    It's because the diehard members of the Republican Party who are active in primaries tend to choose ideology over substance. One need look no further than the empty suit that was the last Republican President to know that. How else to explain the current crop of candidates? Only Romney and Huntsman are arguably presidential material. Predictably, neither has much of a chance to win the nomination unless Perry is caught in some kind of scandal or says things that will turn off the Republican base. And even then it would not be a guarantee that they will best a Bachmann or a Palin - two people who happen to be even less qualified than Perry..

    August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  122. Shaun

    Dear, Jack. Rick Perry is the new darling of the GOP, because ignorance is very easy to lead.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  123. dude

    you said it Jack, cuz Perry is rich, white, male, and older...oh and mindless, it's about image not qualifications and actual viable ideas to solve the country's problems...let's call it a nomination for King of the Prom through Tea Party status quo GOP'ers

    August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  124. Jeff

    Jack, this says far more about the American electorate as a whole than it does Perry, the Tea Party or the GOP. If we are stupid–that's right, stupid–enough to elect Perry (a man who has openly supported the idea of secession from the Union and is otherwise ill-prepared in every way for the job) then we will get what we deserve.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  125. John

    If Dubya and Rick Perry were brothers, Dubya would be considered the smart one. Why is it so difficult for the republicans to put up a credible candidate? There's only one thing that scares me more than Obama winning a re-election bid, and that's Obama losing the re-election bid.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  126. DFW Dann

    The Tea Party isn't looking for someone to lead or to solve problems. They are looking for a standard bearer who will waive their flag in a 'consequences be damned' approach to getting their way. Rick Perry is perfect for them because he loves to campaign so much more than he likes to govern.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  127. Jay Altus, OK

    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.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  128. sumedha de silva


    Right wing republican party never liked President obama for various reasons (some reasons they say openly , some they never say ).
    This is the main reason why they like Perry. This is a good news for President obama.
    I am a democrat but i will never vote for Perry , But I consider/ may vote for Romney.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  129. Mike in Houston

    The media, pure and simple. Before he even entered the race every media outlet was covering him as if he were already the candidate select. Pundits rhapsodized about Perry as the new hope while waxing philosophically about why none of the others would be a suitable candidate. If the pundits turned on Perry, the public would follow.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  130. Wes Carlson

    Most people, including the 27%, would prefer to read a synopsis rather than a term paper. He's the new face who loads up on appealing generalities while carrying the proper religious credentials.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  131. kurtinco

    Perry is the teay party republican darling because he is apparently capable of forming complete sentences. If he could only form coherent, intelligent ideas he'd be...ahh, well...I guess we'd still be talking about Bachmann if that ever happened.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  132. Peg from NY

    Damned if I know, Jack.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  133. pn

    It appears that the GOP base likes stupidity and ignorance.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  134. Melissa

    Let him be the darling. Independent voters are not dumb enough to fall for his Tea Party blather, and his rather frightening resemblance to George W. Bush. Let him get the GOP nomination. Rick Perry will never be president...or if does become president, we're all doomed, so at any rate, I'm leaving.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  135. cary

    For the same reason Bush was their darling. He appeals to the faction that fear "smart people" and they can relate to him. He attracts the rich vote because he's a champion for deregulation which means higher corporate profits. Romney is educated which means his opinions and polices may be swayed by facts which is dangerous. A vote for Perry is a vote for ignorance and greed. Those things have strong appeal to a third of the country.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  136. Barbara Doyle

    Rick Perry will always be popular as long as the Amereican people refuse to read and to think.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  137. Rod

    In Texas, there is a saying "Big hat, no cattle". Americans vote for big hats, not for cattle. A candidate's ideas are only there to give them something to say while the electorate evaluates their haircut, clothing, stature, and voice tone. As Pogo said "We have met the enemy and he is us". Same applies to Blue candidates as well as Red ones.
    Washington State

    August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  138. mactexas

    Unfortunately, we live in a time of fundamentalism when all a politician has to do is pray aloud in public and talk about sin and waste and they line up to support him. Did they forget the fact that he mandated a vaccine for underage girls two days after the manufacturer contributed $250,000 to his campaign fund. Also, did we forget that he not only wanted to build a 'super highway' across Texas that would increase traffic from Mexico, he wanted to take the land to build it by imminent domain. Then he wanted a Mexican company to build it and then he wanted to charge a toll to use it! The man has no shame, no morals and is as phoney as a jackalope! There is no more gullible group of people than these religious fanatics. In the words of Hitler, "Religion is the opiate of the masses,"and Perry uses it well.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  139. George

    Any port in a storm?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  140. Darrell

    Like Sarah Palin, a new face gets all the buzz. And like Sarah Palin once people actually listen to what he says, his campaign will go down in flames.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  141. Ned

    You've got me. But, once the old folks in Florida get wind of his destroying social security....the, "You can take my social security card when you take from my cold dead hands,: crowd will turn him back to Texas where he belongs or Colorado with his Koch Brothers.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  142. Joanne, Brevard, NC

    Rick Perry is all hat and no cattle.
    The last book he read, he had to color first
    They had to tthreaten to burn down Texas A & M just get him out!
    God help us all

    August 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  143. leroy jackson

    From Van, TX – failed to mention the harm he has done to education. The only thing that comforts me is that the prez does not have complete control – even though to a degree i wish Obama had on some issues – i do not understand the drive to take the U.S. backwards im time.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  144. Cem Gokcen

    According to Bernhard Shaw "Democracy is a device to insure people do not get a better government than they deserve". I guess the new GOP feels we deserve a bigotted, closed minded government that will definitely bring back the soup kitchens and deppression.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  145. David

    Why can't the Republican party produce a nice MODERATE middle-of-the-road candidate? What is with all these rabid right-wing extremists???

    August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  146. Jim

    Perry appeals to those "reactionaries" who want things to go back to the way they were in some distant, distorted memory of the past. But, as Thomas Wolf famously wrote, "You can't go home". Perry's appeal will be limited to the Tea Party types; he has no chance with the huge Independent block in the general election. In my opinion, when America gets to know Perry for who he really is, Romney and Huntsman will start looking a lot more presidential.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  147. jane stephen

    this perry "thing" is like a bad dream. are people so stupid to fall for his gibber? when we have choices like romney and huntsman this guy simply d not exist. wake up people before it is too late.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  148. pkfops

    Because he is white and he is not Mormon.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  149. aubrie

    You got me.... I thik his cheese slipped off his cracker! Is this really the best the GOP can do? I am now to the point where I'm praying for a competent Independent to step forward and run. There is NOTHING with any itelligence in the race at the moment. I was a democrat for years up until this last election... then I had to vote my conscience... I was right.. But this is giving me nothing to work with. This is downright frightening.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  150. gene

    Ron Paul 2012!!!!!

    This is guy is just another clone, the makeshift front runner of the corrupt and tainted political machine

    August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  151. grandmaw

    I think Rick Perry has jumped ahead so quickly because his campaign got on the mark right away with information about his "jobs" creation in Texas, etc. that sounded good to folks worried about unemployment and the economy. No one has made much of a point on national news about what the facts about the "jobs" creation are or mentioned other concerns in Texas, like lack of health care. He is good looking and very charismatic, with the Texas drawl and yahoo style. He emotes confidence, even when saying ridiculous things, so like Bachmann, people are more caught up in his personna than what he really stands for or has actually done. Throughout history the world has often been snowed by that certain something that makes some people so likeable ( I'm sure everyone can think of some of those folks, but I won't list names for fear of being labeled in favor of the left or right). Perry knows how to use that as he personally glad hands everyone when he is on the campaign trail. I hope voters will look at all candidates for what they have done–not just how they come across with personality and what they say for media sound bites and to get rally goers charged up.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  152. kurtinco

    Please, America, whatever you do, not another Texas, born again Christian extremist, war mongering, ideologue.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  153. Marc Marc

    Well Jack, I think it is the old saw of clutching for straws as most of the others in the race are pretty much clowns as far as I can tell. Any harbor in a storm fits the GOP situation at this point.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  154. ImALibertarian


    Rick Perry is suddenly the darling of the Republican field because the media loves a guy with pretty hair and large white teeth. Nothing else really matters.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  155. Herk, St. Albans, WV

    Because he is a selfrightious idiot and the Tea Party loves rightious idiots. Especially if they are so far right they are about to fall off the earth.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  156. John Griffin

    He is the new Messiah, the old one Obama is done. We need a new leader, the existing one is nothing more than a car salesman.

    Carlsbad CA

    August 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  157. Mike D

    Just what we need another George Bush clone (sarcasm intended!). Didn't we make this mistake TWICE already. Let's hope people come to their senses.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  158. Kirk in Apple Valley

    The problem with Rick Perry is that he knows a whole lot about nothing and nothing about a whole lot!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  159. John Weatherly

    This one is a softball. The GOP is so deficient of any real new ideas (same old mantra; no taxes, no regulations) and the control of their party has been handed to a gaggle of homophobic racists who have convinced themselves that we need to move backward to 'the good old days'. Perry personifies their bankrupt ideology which is really very simple; defeat Obama even if you sacrifice the Republic as a result. The electorate cannot possibly have such short memories; this is the same party that brought us two wars of choice that were funded 'off the ledger' while they gave tax breaks to those who needed it the least and de-regulated their pet industries to the point where they put the entire global economy at the brink. Perry will run the same way they always do....anti gay, anti regulation, anti revenue, pro god and guns. Where is Teddy Rooseveldt when we need him? John W. Eugene OR

    August 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  160. Christopher Blunt

    Well, in a field of Dumb and Dumber, he's the Dumbest. Obviously that makes him the tea party favorite.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  161. elaine

    he is at the top because no one has outlined his cronyism in Texas, and all the shady deals he has made with contributors put into positions of power by his administration – I don't know why this hasn't come out yet, but some news agency needs to print his list of good ol' boy misdeeds, with Texas taxpayers money. People now seem to like outlandish bullying behavior, single-minded black and white statements. They just need to realize he is another George Bush, but without the compassion, and with more meanness.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  162. JohnOBX

    Like any brand new toy, the Republican children playing at their tea parties will snuggle with their Perry-doll for awhile, grow bored with it, and cast it aside.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  163. john thomas

    I don't know Jack. It's like people following a cult leader. Like Jeffs and his polygamist followers. The weirder they are the more weirdo's follow them. Scary
    theoldman marathon fl

    August 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  164. Julie from Illinois

    Well, Jack, I suppose Perry is the Tea Party darling now because they actually believe what he is telling them. They think this cat has changed his spots. Perry is not an honest person from everything I have read. Seems that Perry's Texas is even a more pay to play state than as is Illinois, and you know where our former governors are.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  165. Sameem

    Simple. Same reason why Ashlee Simpson had the highest selling record of 2005. Same reason why Jersey Shore is setting cable records. We're a country populated by 50% morons.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  166. dave

    There are many eugenicists among the GOP. Rick Perry mandated that all girls receive the gardisil vaccine which was known to injure and kill many girls. Maybe he would mandate that as a national law.


    August 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  167. Bob, Murphy, NC

    Why not? They loved George W and Perry is GW on steroids. However GW was more attractive to the independent voters than Perry It will be interesting to see if he can swing enough votes to add to the right wing religious fruit cakes in the tea party etc. that love him to get elected.

    No matter who the Republicans run against Obama it will again be the lesser of two evils as either will not be what this country needs. All we can hope for is that the party that controls the House does not hold the white house because when one party has both, no matter the party, is when the American public gets hosed.

    Bottom line is until our elected officials start doing what is good for this country and not what is good for their pocket books and the big money that got them elected we are pretty much in the toilet.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  168. Ken in NC

    The TeaPublican Party has apparently found itself a new messiah because they beleive just that. They believe he is the messiah. Of course they also beleive they rule the world. They don't realize that behind Rick Perry is the MoneyPublican Party that seeks to enslave us all, including them.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  169. William

    Sadly, as the election of George W. Bush and the popularity of Bachmann and Palin demonstrate, there is no dimwit shortage in the U.S..

    August 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  170. Tim

    I don't know what the allure is for people like Perry and Bachmann. However, I do know that their statements and actions point out exactly why the framers of our constitution mandated separation of church and state. Those are two very scary folks who would take away our freedoms – not enforce them.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  171. Murray

    That's a deep question Jack so I'll try to answer it as the new breed republican might these days. Because??

    August 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  172. anthony

    Flavor of the day!! 🙂

    August 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  173. J Farrow, New Orleans

    Perry's appeal? Not sure. He appears to be Bush on steroids. The other major issue with Perry which has come out recently is his pay to play Texas politics and cronyism in Texas government. To my view there is absolutely no difference in the way Perry operates in Texas than what got Blagoyavich in so much trouble in Illinois. Where are the federal indictments?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  174. Joe

    Good question. Umm... he, ah... stands for stuff. And wears cowboy boots.... and, in fairness, he could stand in for a Selsun Blue commercial... which makes him grade A presidential material.

    There is another candidate from Texas who has actually consistently called for small government and fiscal responsibility throughout his long political career and actually assembled his own more or less consistent agenda on most areas of domestic and foreign policy... but I can't seem to remember his name.

    Joe from NJ

    August 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  175. Sam Henson

    Perry is going to finish the job Ronald Regan and George W. Bush started - making serfs out of the rest of middle America. Regan started it by eliminating tax deductions for the middle class on cars, credit cards, and second homes. Other tax deductions for the middle class were eliminated by GW and company and the tax savings went to the "job creators" promising "trickle down" economic recovery! The start of the service economy by the Regan Administration and the continuing policies of GW to promote "MacJobs" will only be continued by Perry. The wealthy "job creators" in this country have been bailed out enough. It is time for Obama to grow a set and start taking action for the middle class to whom he pays so much lip service.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  176. Tom Walker

    Rick Perry pretending he is a cowboy? Jack, I think you nailed it. Conservatives like a candidate that doesn't mind dressing up and playing pretend. Need proof? With all of their ranting about "Hollywood liberals" who elects actors to public office? Almost exclusively Republicans.

    Tom Walker, CA

    August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  177. Ariel Gonzalez

    Very Simple: Because he embodies the commplete opposite of Obama's ideas.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  178. Rod Pearce

    Obama represents nothing but special interest groups.....Perry will be the president od ALL the people....

    August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  179. ronjon

    Better question – How is Obama the Dems darling?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  180. TXJim

    He really isn't the darling they think he is. They just haven't found his warts yet. Remember he hasn't been in a debate yet, and just wait till they know what we know here in Texas. Perry isn't a good debater.

    The GOP isn't looking for the best candidate, they are only looking for the guy who they think can beat President Obama.

    Perry isn't that guy yet, this is why they keep trying to draft Rubio, Pataki, Christie, and Paul Ryan. Once they realize he is the best they have, kind of like they did with McCain, then they will cast him as the darling. The primary season will expose Rick Perry, just as it did Mitt in 2008, and we will see how darling he is by this time next year.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  181. Charles

    Why is Rick Perry suddenly the darling of the Republican field?

    We want to get back to work and are ready to put our hope on someone else.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  182. Chris

    Jack, it's pretty simple, conservatives are braindead. Politics is a beauty pageant these days for them.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  183. Paul

    Americans are now repulsed by anyone who sounds like the Washington political elite. Perry speaks in very simple and plain terms, and often gives the impression he has an average intellect at best. A common man of the people? Sound familiar? Look out here comes Bush 2.0.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  184. Preco

    Republicans love "Dumb" presidents so the can get away with anything, including frittering away the commonwealth in pursuit of useless wars!!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  185. John From Louisiana

    Rick shows he has the streinght to lead the Republicans and America needs strong leadership.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  186. Woz

    If this yahoo is elected president, I'm moving to Australia!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  187. tomcpt

    If Perry gets the nomination I will change to a registered independent for the first time in 33 years as a registered voter. He scares me!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  188. RickN0819

    Seems to be me the 27% of people that were polled that would vote for him are impressed by bravado speech, testosterone and his religious beliefs. Being he hasn't laid out any details of what his presidency would be like, it's not comforting knowing that people think he's ready for the presidency based on his questioning evolution, believing that creationism should be taught in the public schools and not accepting climate change and man's role in it. It's also very disconcerting that republicans think nothing of his extreme positions. This is very sad for America.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  189. Jim E. O.

    I think it is because Rick Perry represents, to some, the way that America was in the Bush II era. Rick sounds like W., is a governor from Texas, and panders to the conservative Christian right. I think that so many republicans are still angry about the fact that there is a (partially) black president in the white house and they like the idea of a John Wayne-esque "outlaw" coming in and running the bad guy with the black hat outta town (Washington). Too bad that so many republicans can't look past color and see the intelligence, the compassion, and the charisma that Obama has and won't allow themselves to embrace those qualities. Those qualities would make them better people and would make America stronger as a result.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  190. JB

    Simple: he's the newest shiny object. Remember when Donald Trump was the frontrunner? Perry hasn't had time to screw it up yet.
    Unfortunately, he has so much money behind him that no matter what he says or does, he'll still be the nominee. Only guy with enough money to compete is Romney, and there's no way the evangelical right could bring themselves to vote for a Mormon.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  191. Jeff Tess

    It's simple, people don't know enough about Rick Perry's true record as a career politician. Nor do they understand his true effect on Texas. As with most Republican candidates, the less you know about them the better they look.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  192. Ram Ganeshan

    Tea party seems to be favoring more and more people without any intelligence, principles, ideas, solutions and a national vision for the future. The smarter ones and the ones who have good experience in the government in the republican fold like Gingrich, Romney, Ron Paul are being pushed out. Good for Obama. The likes of Bachmann, Palin, Perry will be blown out of water once the independents and the moderates in both parties find out how dangerous it is to hand over the Presidency to these lightweights.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  193. David Mills

    You answered your own question when you said that Perry hasn't "laid out a single plan or idea for solving America's problems." You can't criticize a man's plan when the man has no plan. The moment he offers specifics, he'll immediately begin offending people and falling in the polls.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  194. Jenna Roseville CA

    Why is Rick Perry suddenly the darling of the Republican field?

    Is he really Jack?

    As an Informed Voter I see Rick Perry as the joke that keeps on giving.

    Informed voters know that he was only able to balance past state budgets due to the stimulus from Obama.

    Informed voters know that the "miracle" from Texas really amounted to part time, uninsured jobs where Texans are having to obtain multiple of those just to make ends meet.

    Informed voters know that the only way Perry is going to pass the next state budget is to fire Teachers, Police, and Fire Fighters. 17K Teachers fired this year alone thus far. He already has his eyes on attacking Texas State Medicare.

    So if this sorry excuse of a man is the best that the GOP has to offer I say BRAVO.

    4 more years for President Obama.

    Roseville CA

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  195. John B

    Because he is in a field of the worst politicians this country has ever seen. His big mouth gives him a big edge over his opponents and people just love to hear run-at-the-mouth politicians.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  196. Geoffrey in Lowell MA

    I never thought I would write "Cheap, dumbed down George Bush" in a sentence until recently. Rick Perry demonstrates how unable to lead the Republican party leadership really is. With this kind of disorganized and essentially negative policy hodge podge – it is a Jet Powered embarrassing Gaff Machine. This will be an interesting election season indeed.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  197. Khan Alim, Sacramento, CA

    Perry is a strong candidate becasue he is like George W. Bush. They are both from Texas.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  198. Riley - Seattle

    Shoot-from-the-hip-cowboy Rick Perry has easily coralled the low-hanging "he's-the-kind-of-hombre-I-could-have-a-beer-with" vote, otherwise known as the "you-can-fool-some-of-the-people-all-the-time" vote and the "a-sucker's-born-every-minute" vote ... which are all just nice ways of saying the "really-really-stupid" vote. A president Perry would make Pres. George Double-U look like Pres. Lincoln. So, for Abe's sake, wake up and smell the cow pies America!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  199. C. Coker

    Perry has the looks of a TV/movie star. He portrays strong leader (rightly or wrongly). He persona is one of action not words. America wants someone to lead from from the abyss and we are grasping at straws.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  200. Allex

    Perry is the darling of the Republican party for now because he has not participated in any presidential debate,he has not granted interview to any major national media and he has been given a free pass on most issues.We must remember Donald Trump,he was once a darling of the Republicna party until he opened his mouth too wide.As a Texan,just wait until you hear Perry discuss issues in detail...you would wish for the days of George W.Bush again.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  201. LeftCoaster

    Perry has jumped ahead of the other contenders because he has the most support from Christian Conservatives and the Tea Party (one might argue they are ostensibly the same group of people). This is because of one plain and simple reason. He is the anti-Obama. Unlike any other Republican candidate, he is seen as the antidote to everything that Obama stands for and everything that Christian Conservatives and the Tea Party hate.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  202. jim

    ...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.... He hasn't committed to any plan that copies someone else, consists of a "flip-flop," or that involves "revenue increases." Many in this country would rather vote for a smiling pretend cowboy.....maybe the dems should run Toy Story's Woody for President.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  203. Sheri in Tennessee

    The tea party likes Perry because he is just like them: loud, dumb, and mean.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  204. Matt

    The reason Rick Perry has risen to popularity so quickly is he actually lives and believes the ideals of the tea party. Instead of embracing Tea Party stances on issues like gun control, women's rights, and religion simply as a political move to try and get elected, this man honestly believes them. He is also, unlike the rest of the Republican lineup, extremely charismatic.

    This is also the reason he's so terrifying to democrats, and liberal leaning independents like myself to be fair. While I *really* don't want to see him elected, I can certainly understand why he's popular.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  205. Brian, San Diego, CA

    Because he's doing the most to disregard facts and play to the extreme. This primary was always going to be about who could fire up the Tea Party wing the most (sorry Mitt).

    August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  206. josh from new york city

    Maybe they are mistaking him for Katie Perry.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  207. GeorgeBos95

    It's a bit early to be saying he's "lapped the field", don't you think?

    Besides, what esle would you expect from a group that seems to adore the likes of Sarah Palin.

    Critical thinkers, they're not.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  208. Phartness Grande

    He's the favorite because he's another mindless puppet for special interests and big business. It seems like our country is not so different than middle eastern countries. If big money keeps getting the same puppets elected term after term what is the difference between this and a long term dictator? Is it the illusion of voting or perhaps freedom?

    August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  209. Paul P.

    The GOP faithful seem to have a love affair with anyone new with a little charm, who says what they like to hear and who looks the part. He's an image right now and once he gets challenged a bit more in debates and the media and pollsters see how he fares with independents, his popularity will likely shrink.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  210. JamesNY

    It is very simple! Per Obama, we are small town Americans, and we like to cling to our guns and religion!
    JM – Albany, NY

    August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  211. Bryan, Co. Spgs., Co.

    Republicans can't get enough of idiot, double talking liars from Texas. What a joke Bush jr. to the rescue.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  212. Nancy in Baltimore

    Rick Perry is the new darling of the GOP because they believe he's the antithesis of Barack Obama.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  213. Bob from West Virginia

    Because Republicans love to hear the populist message truth be dammed! And like Bill Clinton eluded to, he is pretty!

    August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  214. bluekhakis

    Why ask why? Trying to find rational explanations to explain the GOP's actions is as futile as trying to make a cow lay eggs.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  215. led9

    Scary dude. That's all we need- another born again Texan who wants to create a theocracy. That really worked out well last time didn't it?

    August 31, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  216. Phil from Missouri

    Perry is the darling because the other presidential wantabees are so weak. Plus he looks good and has that "there's gonna be a new sheriff in town" swagger. The Republicans want good to triumph over evil and they want an America that does not exist anymore. I think they watched too many John Wayne movies. Well.... Pilgrim........

    August 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  217. Ron


    The answer is simple. You said he was particularly strong with older, white people. These are the people that are living off their social security checks rather than using the savings that were intended for this. They are depending on Medicare to get the services that they need, as they should, even though they are living longer and using far more services than their payroll taxes were ever intended to pay. They feel they have paid into these services their entire lives and that the government debt must come from other sources.

    Rick Perry speaks to what they think. Government is the problem. Ironic that the government spends $3 on one of them for every $1 it spends on a child under the age of 18. God bless them for not spending any of their retirement savings, after all their spoiled rotten children deserve that.

    As long as there are Rick Perrys in the political system to fill it with crap, we will not have to listen to anyone intelligent.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  218. John Henson

    Perry is the darling of the Republican Party because he understands what is important to Republicans. The GOP likes him because he is who he is, and he's not some kind of pretender. He's genuine GOP.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  219. Whammybar

    The ingnorant and uniformed always need a leader. They see that person in Rick Perry. He himself is not one of them but he does recognize the ability to lead them.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  220. Richard

    When the Koch brothers fund the party, they get to pick their candidate. How sad for the Tea Party sheep.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  221. Bob from Ohio

    I think he reminds them of George W Bush and the years of free reign, arrogance, deregulation and tax breaks..

    August 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  222. William

    The reason that the tea party and the Republicans have "fallen in love" with Rick Perry is that he is "George Bush on steroids", and in their minds George Bush did nothing wrong during his eight years. Bush "protected his country" and stimulated the economy by starting two wars, making money for the industrial military complex, and he lowered taxes for the top income brackets. If your are a conservative, "protect our country", higher income, older person, Rick Perry is just what you ordered. They know that he is not going to do anything to their social security or medicare benefits because that would be political suicide, but he will cut entitlements to the less fortunate, which is not their concern.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  223. David Stuart

    Perry's appeal derives from a complex combination psychology and culture. He appeals to narcissistic, grandiose," I'm in charge here", and don't owe the world anything folks, addicted to the myth that they are "self-made", and therefore there are NO external rules which apply to them. Part of that myth veers into the edges of the American Clint Eastwood fantasy, but more of it derives from a hatred of government , not on philosophical grounds, but on the underlying fear that effective government trumps unquestioned and unlimited personal autonomy. Simply put , external authorityin all its earthly forms(goverment) terrifies them.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  224. Richard Stallman

    Because he is not very smart? – Houston TX

    August 31, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  225. tc from Texas

    Jack, the "hope" of Obama turned out to be indecision, hesitation, and policies seemingly based on scholastic theory rather than real world experience. The result has been chaos in search of a true leader. In walks Perry with straight forward talk, confidence with a sprinkle of arrogance, and a "take the bull by the horns" attitude which most people are longing for right now. I personally am not sold on Perry, but his cowboy, non-ivy league approach is a welcome change.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  226. Marla

    It's easy to see why Perry is the TP darling. You said it yourself- most of his supporters are white, older, male, christian and rich. That is exactly what he is, so they think that he's perfect.
    He has almost run Texas into the ground with his anti-union, anti-social security, anti-education, anti-environmental, anti-decent healthcare, anti-elderly, anti-poor people and anti just about anything else worth having stance.
    He's done everything to Texas that the TP is drooling to do to the rest of the country, so of course he's their darling.

    What is interesting is how quickly the support for the last TP darling, Bachmann, has faded. It's easy to see that she was the token female, just as Cain is the token minority, so that the TP can say , "See, we're PC!"
    It's sad that they are both too dumb or too brainwashed to see this.
    I just hope that all of the minority and women voters are watching, and can see it.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  227. george bush

    de ja vu, more wars; iran syria here we come, more tax breaks for the wealthy, more of the status quo.. you can call perry george bush the 3rd.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  228. Richard

    He is their darling because he is good looking and has never lost an election. They could care less if he would make a good President, as long as he can win.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  229. George, Dallas, TX

    I love Rick Perry!!! Perry for President 2012!!!!

    August 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  230. Prince

    Perry adds that Christian conservative flavor that Romney [a mormon] lacks...a kryptonite factor! Bachmann and Ron P are too extreme, while Gingrich [although the smartest] has extreme personal and political problems. Perry is the darling because the White Christian conservatives see him as one of their own. Obama has a problem in 2012!

    Prince, from Minnesota

    August 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  231. Delta75

    I can't speak for myself since I won't be voting Republican, but my 78 year-old mom, who has voted strictly Republican for her entire adult life plans to vote for Obama in 2012. The Religious Right and Tea Partiers frighten her. She feels that the moderate candidates never even make it on the ballot.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  232. James Dillinger

    Because he's a cheerleader and their supposed to get people up and excited, the problem is they can't win the game for you.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  233. ps

    Perry's popularity mimics the popularity that Trump enjoyed early on. Once he has to actually set his poiciy objectvies and his true colors come out, his double digit lead will quickly diminish. The right may have their candidate in Perry, but his far rgiht views will never let him be the country's candidate.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  234. Mark Pilarski - Denver

    He comes across as confident and has a swagger that the Romney does not have. He is a cowboy, he is what the '..older, white, and rich ' followers wish they could have been. The real question is how long will his grandstanding last in the face of facts about the state of Texas, jobs, and his beliefs. Once America starts to really listen... things are likely to change for him, and not for the better.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm |