Perry Pollster 'Outed' by Leader of Gay Republican Group - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Perry Pollster ‘Outed’ by Leader of Gay Republican Group

Backlash over a TV ad by Texas Gov. Rick Perry has exploded into public accusations and recriminations, with the leader of a gay Republican group declaring that a longtime GOP pollster is secretly homosexual.

In an evident attempt to appeal to social conservatives in Iowa, Perry’s presidential campaign this week unveiled a TV ad – which Aaron Goldstein of The American Spectator described as “peculiar” – that referenced the recent repeal of the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. In the ad, Perry says there is “something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”

There were reports that some of Perry’s campaign staff – including pollster Tony Fabrizio – opposed the ad’s message. Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder of the gay Republican group GOProud, gave an interview to the Huffington Post and published Twitter messages in which he used a slur to identify Fabrizio as homosexual. GOProud subsequently issued a statement declaring: “Rick Perry should be embarrassed and the people around him who are the architects of this strategy, particularly people like Tony Fabrizio, should be ashamed.”

The controversy could hardly have come at a worse time for Perry, who has been struggling to salvage his campaign, which tumbled out of contention for the Republican nomination after a series of disastrous debate performances. Some had described his pitch for social conservatives in Iowa as a “last ditch” strategy for the Texan.

Beyond bad publicity for the Perry campaign – barely three weeks before the crucial Jan. 3 caucuses in the Hawkeye State – there were further political repercussions, as Andrew Breitbart resigned from the board of GOProud, expressing a “zero tolerance attitude” toward the practice of “outing” homosexuals. The popular conservative blogger known as Ace of Spades described such tactics as the work of “Stalinists and blackmailers.”

Robert Stacy McCain
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