Chuck Todd: Perry’s struggling but he’s not another Bachmann or Trump

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Since Texas Gov. Rick Perry has made a few missteps in his presidential campaign, some on the political right are on the verge of writing him off. We saw it with real estate mogul Donald Trump and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann: a bump in the polls, then a swift fall. But NBC’s Chuck Todd said Perry will be different.

Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Todd explained that Perry was in the same situation in his 2006 Texas gubernatorial race.

“As Republicans search for their anti-Romney,” Todd said, “somebody rises up and is quickly — basically lasts about a month and then somehow gets cut off. The person who sits there and sort of benefits is Mitt Romney. But the one thing … that makes, for instance, Rick Perry different than a Donald Trump or a Michele Bachmann, you know, who skyrocketed for a month then seemed to disappear as fast as they rose up, is Perry’s got a big infrastructure, number one, and number two, he’s been through tough campaigns in the past.”

“He’s been — he’s stared into the abyss of losing back in 2006 with some really bad poll numbers.”

Todd also said that while Perry lost to former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain in Florida, he still beat Romney.

“The Perry campaign notes they didn’t lose to Mitt Romney in Florida,” Todd explained. “And in fact, if that had been the case this morning, they’d feel like they were even in a whole lot more trouble than they feel this morning, one. And two, as they are able to start laying this campaign against Romney, they believe they’ll get these Herman Cain conservatives back.”

The host of MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” suggested Perry’s immigration policy and his lackluster debate performance — particularly against Romney — has hurt him the most.


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“I think it’s also a reminder that [Perry’s campaign is] still building an organization,” Todd continued. “They don’t have it yet. It’s about six weeks old. And straw polls are not easy things to just swoop in and somehow win. But I think they have to feel really concerned about the fact that he has a poor debate performance, but what seemed to hurt Perry was his immigration stance among the rank and file conservatives that voted in this.”

Some are suggesting this is an opening for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to make a splash on the scene in this race. But Todd isn’t so sure.

“If I were Chris Christie, that would give me more pause than anything else in this, which is, right now the tea party and conservatives, they only see what they want to see in Chris Christie,” Todd said. “What happens when he gets in? If he did get in — now he’s saying ‘no,’ again, of course, this morning — if he did get in and suddenly you’re finding out, oh, he goes against the conservative grain on issue x, y, z, how is that going to go over?”