Two months ago, Rick Perry’s presidential campaign was soaring high in opinion polls. But he has stumbled in a series of debates since then. His latest obstacle came last week when Dr. Robert Jeffress, the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas who was introducing Perry at the Values Voter Summit, said Mormonism — the religion of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — is “a cult.”
On Friday’s “NewsHour” on PBS, New York Times columnist David Brooks said Jeffress’ comments and the response from first lady hopeful Anita Perry showed there is “a lot of weirdness going on” with Perry’s candidacy.
“I actually think he was hurt. One of the people who introduced him, endorsed him, a pastor, attacked Mitt Romney for being a Mormon … being a member of a cult,” Brooks said.
“And I heard strong counter-reaction from evangelicals, from conservatives: It is not what we do. And Perry has not denounced this guy. And that’s speaks very ill of him. There were comments about his wife, saying she heard [in] the burning bush that he should run. He didn’t see the burning bush. There is a lot of weirdness going on.”
Host Jim Lehrer pointed out that Anita Perry has been critical of how her husband has been treated since entering the fray. Brooks’ advice to the former Texas governor? Toughen up.
“If he is going to jog around with firearms, he shouldn’t whine about being criticized,” Brooks said.
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