In Thursday’s debate, he arguably made two very damaging mistakes. In front of a rabidly anti-immigrant crowd, he defended his Texas Dream Act, in which children of undocumented immigrants are allowed to attend college for in-state tuition.
Perry also stumbled, badly, when an underrehearsed zinger aimed at Mitt Romney turned into a soggy, incoherent pretzel of words.
“I think Americans just don’t know sometimes which Mitt Romney they’re dealing with. Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side of against the Second Amendment before he was for the Second Amendment? Was it — was before he was before the social programs, from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against Roe v. Wade? He was for Race to the Top, he’s for Obamacare, and now he’s against it. I mean, we’ll wait until tomorrow and – and — and see which Mitt Romney we’re really talking to tonight.”
In response to his lukewarm debate performances, he said to a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee in Orlando, Florida,
“It’s not the slickest candidate or smoothest debater that we need to elect,” someone who will “stand their ground.”
The Republican party is getting worried. Of the two front-runners, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, neither seems electable at this point. Enter, New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie. According to Politico:
The New Jersey governor has indicated he is listening to big-money backers and Republican influence-makers, and will let them know in roughly a week whether he has moved off his threat-of-suicide vow to stay on the sidelines of a presidential race that remains amorphous heading into the fall, the two sources said.
Is Christie the candidate? In an election year where there seems to be no room for anyone who doesn’t pass the Tea Party purity test, Christie has made one seemingly big mistake. He appointed a Muslim judge, immigration attorney, Sohail Mohammed. The right wing backlash was extreme. They called Mohammed, “the enemy” and accused Christie of turning New Jersey into a “Sharia state.”
After withstanding the attacks, Christie defended his nomination (Video below):
While it is possible that the Tea Party’s memory is short, the memories of his fellow Presidential candidates will be very long. Look for Christie’s “Muslim problem” to be the highlight of future debates and campaign ads, should he enter the race.