With Rick Perry’s support evaporating faster than Dabo Swinney’s after the Orange Bowl, the question is no longer if Perry will drop out after South Carolina, but when. After surging to front-runner status upon entering the race back in August, Perry is now polling at a distant sixth with little hope of rebounding before primary day.
Perry bet his campaign on South Carolina, announcing his run for presidency in Charleston and outspending all other candidates by a 3-1 ratio in the Palmetto State. But even $1.3 million in TV ads won’t be enough to save a campaign that proved itself so inept that many of his staff didn’t realize Perry was still in the race after Iowa.
On Thursday, top Republican donor and Perry supporter Barry Wynn announced he’s switching his support to Mitt Romney in light of the Texas governor’s attacks on Romney’s “vulture capitalism” while at Bain Capital. Wynn and other high-profile supporters likely see the writing on the wall, and are looking for any excuse to jump ship while they can.
Big-time donors aren’t the only ones leaving the Perry campaign in droves — The State’s Adam Beam posted a photo Wednesday of a campaign event at which Perry signs nearly outnumbered Perry supporters. Of course that may have something to do with the fact that Perry is just so darn awkward at his events, as the Free Times’ Corey Hutchins experienced first-hand Wednesday at Doc’s Barbecue in Columbia:
“Sir, a voter out there wanted to know what you’d do about the costly War on Drugs,” I say.
Rick Perry puts both hands on my shoulders and looks into my eyes – and doesn’t answer. Rick Perry moves on.
“You know, I will speak for Governor Perry and what his point was as he used those particular words, but he, the governor of Texas, having been so passionate about creating US jobs there in his state and being successful in allowing the private sector to come in and knowing what government can do to incentivize these private businesses to hire more Americans, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to some of these job creation antics that gosh, we wish that our own president would listen to and then learn from.”
Got it? Good.