The Romney campaign released yet another attack ad on Texas Governor Rick Perry, Friday. This one, titled, “Thank you Governor Perry,” targets the in-state tuition break for children of illegal immigrants in Texas.
The ad starts by asking viewers, “Who supports Governor Perry’s decision to give in-state tuition to illegal immigrant?”. It then flashes pictures of President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
But the web ad goes one step further than just trying to align Perry with the Democrats conservatives love to hate. It also shows a video of former Mexican President Vincente Fox thanking Perry by name for the university tuition policy.
“I want to publicly recognize Gov. Perry and the state of Texas by having taken that step forward when you decided to give access to Mexican migrants to universities in Texas.’
The video, which is approximately one minute and 20 seconds, then cuts to Perry’s response to questions on illegal immigration at the GOP debate in Orlando, Florida. Perry’s answer, specifically to the question about tuition breaks when he said those who oppose them “do not have a heart,” has turned into a damaging soundbite for his campaign.
Many attributed Perry’s loss in the Florida straw poll to angry conservative Floridians who were unhappy with his answers on illegal immigration in the debate.
Since then, however, Perry has walked back the “heartless,” comment, saying in an interview this week that “I was probably a bit over-passionate by using that word and it was inappropriate.”
Nonetheless, Perry’s immigration views stand in stark contrast to the rest of the GOP field, and it is likely they will continue to play large role in the narrative of the 2012 Republican primary.