Perry Sticking with Fischer, the AFA

Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is not going through the best of times right now. After an initial splash that sent Texas’ longest-serving governor to the top of the Republican presidential polls, the campaign has stumbled through a series of gaffes and lackluster debate performances.

So Gov. Perry this week will go back to the basics, once again sharing a venue with the American Family Association hate group and making his faith a political tool as he courts conservative voters. In fact, Gov. Perry is on the Friday schedule for the 2011 Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., as is the AFA.

You’ll recall it was the AFA that sponsored Gov. Perry’s prayer rally at Houston’s Reliant Stadium in early August, an event the AFA and Gov. Perry proclaimed nonpolitical though the AFA later used the event to register voters and the governor formally announced his presidential candidacy a week later.

Don’t expect the same “nonpolitical” proclamations this time around. The Value Voters Summit is all political, all the time. And don’t expect Gov. Perry to distance himself from the AFA or what the Mississippi-based group stands for. He didn’t do so back in August, so don’t expect him to do so now.

You can, however, expect to see something different. That difference is Bryan Fischer, a chief spokesman for the AFA.

Though the AFA sponsored The Response, the organization faded into the background once the actual event rolled around. Fischer for his part also kept a low-profile, save for giving comment to a reporter who approached him while at Reliant.

For the Values Voter Summit, the AFA and Fischer are listed prominently. Fischer is even listed as a speaker during Saturday’s plenary session.

It may be an awkward scene given that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is scheduled to appear immediately before Fischer. In just the last week, Fischer in a blog post has criticized Gov. Romney for not doing anything about the in-room porn while Romney was on the board of Marriott Hotels. Fischer said Gov. Romney’s inaction made him “not Mormon enough.” Fischer followed up his blog post with a radio rant in which he asserted that the religious protections in the First Amendment are for Christians only and do not apply to Mormons.

We have been hopeful that someone — anyone — with presidential ambitions will denounce just one thing that the AFA has said or done. Gov. Perry has given no indication that he will. Maybe, just maybe, Gov. Romney will do so now that he’s been very directly and recently attacked by the AFA.

But really, we’ll be happy if anyone — Cain, Bachmann, Santorum, etc. — finally pushes back on Fischer or the AFA. Or do we have to get a bear to run for president for that to happen?

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10 Comments

  1. David
    Posted October 5, 2011 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    There’s no chance that Perry will get the nomination let alone win the general election, but I’m hoping this exposure of Perry’s corruption will result in his removal from office and/or a great opportunity for the Dems in Texas. Then these forces of hooey will be discredited, and education will be safe from their stinky touch for decades.

  2. Doc Bill
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    For all his macho appearance I’ve wondered how much of a tin-plated baby Perry really is. He did not shoot that coyote with his girlie pistol. That’s a lie. Why he perpetuates that lie beyond his sycophantic cocktail party circle is beyond me. However, I can’t imagine a president who’s image is based on such a thin veneer. Perry talks a big talk about honor, yet he is dishonorable. Sorry, but that doesn’t hold with me. We already endured 8 years of a president who was all hat and no cattle. We don’t need another.

  3. David
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I voted and fought against him, and I commented on these pages here that we needed to get rid of him if we wanted to fix the TSBOE in perpetuity. Not that I got any argument.

    Voter turnout in Texas was truly disappointing in 2010. That’s the primary reason he was re-elected.
    I had a feeling that the national spotlight would expose Perry’s flaws in ways that should shame every Texan for not seeing them before.
    And lo…
    Perry latched onto the “AFA”, and the NAR, and the zombie nation of Pastor Hagee as a ready-made campaign volunteer network. That was important to him coming in late in the game. Lack of a national organization is one reason Christie didn’t pull the cord.
    It’s time for Round 2. (or the Second Act)
    I suspect that Perry will double down on the religious right connection, his whupping in the debate will be cast as persecution for his beliefs, which will resonate with the natural paranoia of the religious right.
    Romney’s moderation, hypocrisy and Mormonism will be used as clubs against him.
    Cain will be kicked from one side of the room to the other, because he doesn’t have a natural constituency in the GOP that he doesn’t share with all the other also-rans.
    Paul will leverage his modest but consistent power to extract concessions from the survivor of the battle. He doesn’t like either one of them.
    I don’t see Perry recovering his mojo, because he and his campaign strategists are still clueless. They will be vicious in their attempt to take down Romney, though.
    When the smoke clears, they’ll all try to make nice and do what they can to support Romney, if he makes certain promises and guarantees to the religious right, because their fear and loathing for Obama and the prospect that he’ll be picking two more SCOTUS justices will trump any other consideration.

  4. dbtexas
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Sad commentary, Doc Bill. I’ve never voted for Perry, but have watched in amazement as my fellow Texans give this guy a free pass at every opportunity. I’m not gifted with anything resembling genius or special insight, so am at a loss as to why I can see right through this empty suit, while others gleefully vote him in perpetuity. Strange world we inhabit.

  5. Posted October 4, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Apparently Rick Perry is desperate to win the Presidency with the “hateful nonsense” voters. Tells me what he REALLY thinks of our country and the basis of our democracy. His ideas are no better than the ideas that got Hosni Mubarack in trouble in Egypt: Money and Power at all cost. HSWDN. HE’S SOMEONE WE DON’T NEED. That applies to Fischer, too.
    +1

  6. RMC
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    As a Jew, Fischer’s attitude that religious freedom in this country only applies to his definition of a Christian, is abhorrent. No reasonably educated, well meaning person with no ulterior motives would possibly utter this hateful nonsense.

    Apparently Rick Perry is desperate to win the Presidency with the “hateful nonsense” voters. Tells me what he REALLY thinks of our country and the basis of our democracy. His ideas are no better than the ideas that got Hosni Mubarack in trouble in Egypt: Money and Power at all cost. HSWDN. HE’S SOMEONE WE DON’T NEED. That applies to Fischer, too.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    As a Jew, Fischer’s attitude that religious freedom in this country only applies to his definition of a Christian, is abhorrent. No reasonably educated, well meaning person with no ulterior motives would possibly utter this hateful nonsense.

    Apparently Rick Perry is desperate to win the Presidency with the “hateful nonsense” voters. Tells me what he REALLY thinks of our country and the basis of our democracy. His ideas are no better than the ideas that got Hosni Mubarack in trouble in Egypt: Money and Power at all cost. HSWDN. HE’S SOMEONE WE DON’T NEED. That applies to Fischer, too.

  8. Doc Bill
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I never heard Perry speak or “articulate” his positions until he ran for Prez.

    In spite of his degree from Texas A&M this guy is a very stupid person. I would put him on par with Michelle Bachmann but with less charisma. Seriously, the guy can’t stitch a coherent sentence together to save his skin.

    What kind of bubble does he live in that he thinks he’s presidential material?

  9. JamesBreck
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. Blub….blub…blub….blub….. the sound of the Perry campaign sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

  10. David
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I think the best we can hope for is for Perry to be the strongest possible advocate for the AFA. That will do the most damage to their agenda.

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