Texas Governor Rick Perry and Mitt Romney continued the nasty fight they started at the debate online. Governor Perry released a new web video targeting Mr. Romney, who updated his own anti-Perry site amid reports their beef began about five years ago.
At the debate Tuesday night, both men got into several shouting matches as Governor Perry brought up an a Boston Globe report from 2006 that Mr. Romney had illegal immigrants work on the lawn at his home in Massachusetts. Governor Perry’s video, which he posted on YouTube Wednesday, tries to portray Mr. Romney as being similar to President Obama and “misleading” about where he stands.
Governor Perry’s video begins with the word “misleading” appearing on screen, there’s a handy dictionary definition written underneath. As an ominous score of strings and pounding drums builds steam, we fade in to footage of Mr. Romney that alternates with text at a rapid fire pace throughout the ad. There’s debate video of Mr. Romney saying he doesn’t think his Massachusetts health care plan would be right for the whole country interspersed with interviews in which he says the exact opposite. News reports discuss recent revelations that President Obama modeled his health care plan on Mr. Romney’s. Flashes of text describe Mr. Romney as a 17-year career politician with a failed record on job creation before the ad goes in for the kicker–Mr. Romney is shown defending against the charge he hired illegal immigrants as headlines from the scandal scroll by. Governor Perry’s ad closes with text that says, “Mitt leading? Misleading. You can’t lead a nation by misleading the people.”
Mr. Romney already had an ad attacking Governor Perry’s jobs record. On Thursday, he officially launched a website, RickPerryCareerPolitician.com, to showcase the video, which compares Governor Perry to President Obama as an “incumbent politician” with a “bad jobs record.” The site was previously “under construction.”
Don’t expect Governor Perry and Mr. Romney to let up on each other any time soon. New York Times reporters Michael Shear and Jeff Zeleny recently documented a long history of animosity between the two candidates dating back to 2006 when Mr. Romney hired a consultant who worked with one of Governor Perry’s opponents.
Mr. Romney has emerged as an early frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination. After poorly reviewed performances in the first few debates, Governor Perry clearly thinks going on the attack is his best shot at an upset. It’s too early to call an ultimate winner, but there’s one person who we know must be thrilled to see these two tearing each other apart and it’s the man who could face one of them in next year’s general election–President Obama.