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Unhappy conservatives turn their lonely eyes to Texas Gov. Rick Perry

May 19, 2011|By Tom Hamburger | Washington Bureau
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters )

Reporting from Washington   — Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he has "the best job in the world,"  but his name continues to reverberate among GOP conservative activists dissatisfied with the presidential field so far.


FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post referred to California Assemblyman Dan Logue as David Logue.

On Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh said Perry had the best chance to enliven what he sees as a dull Republican field. Thursday a "Draft Perry " committee goes online, sponsored by a handful of Republicans including California Assemblyman Dan Logue, who recently led a legislative trip to Texas.

The effort has caught the interest of some influential party activists, including David Lane, who has organized Christian conservatives in battleground states.

"If Rick Perry gets in, he'll fill the vacuum on the right and be very difficult to beat," Lane said Thursday morning in an email.

In a "Draft Perry" announcement released late Wednesday,  Logue wrote of his recent trip to Texas where he compared the state's expanding economy to California's lagging growth.

"If we can get Governor Rick Perry in Washington instead of Texas he will no longer recruit businesses from California but he will recruit jobs back to America from China and India and put America, not just Texas, back to work," Logue wrote on the new Draft Perry site.

"Rick Perry has not just talked about building a thriving economy, he’s actually done it," Logue wrote.  "That’s why CEO’s – people who know a thing or two about job creation – rank Texas the best place in the nation to do business.  We need a President who can make 'Made in America' our national slogan again."

The potential GOP presidential field has narrowed in the last week with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a favorite of Christian conservatives, and developer Donald Trump taking themselves out of the running. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the self-declared front-runner, but many conservatives have so far been reluctant to embrace him.

Among those considering a run, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota are vying for conservative support. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a favorite of more establishment Republicans, is considering jumping into the race. Like Daniels, Perry is seen as an experienced political leader, but Perry has stronger credentials with social conservatives.

On Tuesday, the RealClearPolitics.com reported that Perry aides have been inquiring about the possibility of a national race. That day, Perry addressed Republican National Committee executive committee members meeting in Texas and received a warm reception.

tom.hamburger@latimes.com

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