Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the GOP presidential debate at Dartmouth College… (Scott Eells/Bloomberg )
Michele Bachmann, seeking to regain lost momentum in the Republican presidential race, tried Tuesday evening at the GOP debate in Hanover, N.H., to hit rival conservative where she thought he may be weakest: his past as a Democrat.
During a portion of the Bloomberg/Washington Post debate in which the candidates could ask one another questions, Bachmann spun the way-back dial to the 1980s, when, she said, President Reagan created an “economic miracle.”
With America desiring an impossible third Reagan term, she postulated, why was Rick Perry trying to help Democrat Al Gore’s presidential campaign?
Perry was indeed a Democrat then and a member of the Texas Legislature. He became a Republican in 1989.
But Perry was ready. “I, like most people in the state of Texas and in those Southern states, grew up a Democrat,” he replied.
Perry referenced a recent conversation he had with Reagan’s son, Michael, and noted that he joined the GOP at a younger age than the former president. “I came to the Republican Party sonner in age than his dad, Ronald Reagan, did,” Perry said.