How Rick Perry can save his campaign

The Texan should quit sparring with Mitt Romney over gotcha quotes in their books and focus on his winning record as governor of the Lone Star State

Edward Morrissey

Over the last several years, I have been asked many times whether I would ever consider a run for public office. I usually answer, "If I wanted to run for office, I wouldn't have spent most of the last decade committing my every political thought to writing." Watching Mitt Romney and Rick Perry repeatedly pulling gotcha quotes out of each others' books — from Perry's attacks on Social Security to Romney's double-talk on health care reform — demonstrates the major risks that political manifestos carry. Indeed, it seems more like personal vanity than good strategy to publish before campaigning.

The two men atop the Republican polls have certainly thrown the books at each other over the last month, but to two very different ends — and with very different results. So far, Romney has gotten the best of the exchanges. In fact, it seems as though Romney has set a trap for Perry into which Perry keeps falling, and unless the Texas governor starts acting like a frontrunner, he won't remain one for long.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.