The PJ Tatler

Video: Rick Perry on the Race, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and the Road Ahead

West Des Moines, Iowa is Rick Perry country today. On the drive from downtown toward the Perry HQ, you pass dozens of Perry for President road signs. Inside the sprawling hotel, Texas luminaries including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Ag Commissioner Todd Staples and others are among the many surrogates here from more than 30 states to make the last-day case on Perry’s behalf. Gov. Bobby Jindal is another. They’re here talking about the Perry record, contrasting it with the records of his competitors and blasting away at President Obama.  Around this corner is Perry spokesman Mark Miner, around that one is long-time adviser Wayne Hamilton, and across the room keeping an eye on things are Clint Harp and Sarah Floerke, so many of the governor’s longtime team on hand that despite the bitter cold it feels a bit like being back in Austin. A veterans contingent of former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and former USMC Capt Dan Moran also traveled up from Texas to lend their support to Gov. Perry. Meanwhile, Iowans have come to the hotel to get caucus training to be ready for whatever happens in their local meetings tonight.

In the interview, I ask Gov. Perry about where he expects to finish in Iowa, about the records of Rick Santorum and Ron Paul (he volunteers some thoughts on Mitt Romney’s record as well), and about whether a 2-0 start for Romney means game over.

Gov. Perry is as energetic as I’ve ever seen him. His recovery from the summer back surgery seems to be complete. His schedule has him spending time in South Carolina starting the day after Iowans cast their votes.