Rick Perry is down in the polls, but it’s obvious that he is still the candidate who worries Mitt Romney the most. One of Romney’s advisers used HuffPo to keep the preacher smear alive (a strategy that will backfire very badly on Romney if he’s the nominee), and now Team Romney is out with an anti-Perry web site.
Mitt Romney unleashes careerpolitician.com this morning, a website dedicated to attacking Rick Perry.
An introduction video on the site, attacks Perry for the highest unemployment rate in Texas since 1987 and one million unemployed Texans. The video also cites a Byron York blogpost on a study that found half of new jobs in Texas over the last four years went to illegal immigrants.
“Sound familiar?” reads the ad, comparing Perry to President Obama.
Coming from the governor who gave us RomneyCare, which morphed into ObamaCare, that’s a low attack. Coming from the governor who flirted with imposing cap and trade on Massachusetts, it’s even lower. While Perry was dueling with Obama over everything from energy to the border, Romney was hoping no one would find out about him secretly sharing advisers with Obama. Low, low stuff from Romney.
The reason that Perry remains Romney’s main target despite the current state of play in the polls is obvious: Perry has a real campaign. That campaign raises actual money. Cain doesn’t. That doesn’t mean Cain can’t win, but it does mean that his strength in the polls isn’t all that it appears to be. The sped up primary calendar favors candidates who can raise money and deploy technology and troops into multiple states at once. The only two candidates who can do that right now are Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. So give Romney credit for being smart enough to see past the flash of the latest polls to the bedrock reality, and keep focused on the one candidate who has built out a campaign that can beat him. But is it possible for Romney to criticize his opponents without resorting to smears? Frankly, the character of Candidate Romney is shining through right now in the way he is choosing to attack his opponents, and it’s not pretty.