Yesterday both Erick Erickson and Laura Ingraham called on Perry to step aside. Erickson, of course, had previously championed Perry. Indeed, Perry entered the GOP race last August much with fanfare and immediately surged to the top of the polls and effectively signaled the beginning of the end of Michele Bachmann’s campaign after she won the Ames Straw Poll.
The GOP race was being built as a battle between Perry and Mitt Romney. But Perry would meet with an equally rapid descent stringing together a series of poor debate performances and consistently came out on the short end in his exchanges with Romney. The low point of his campaign, of course, came when he could not remember the Department of Energy as one of the three government departments he wanted to cut during the CNBC Debate in November.
To his credit, Perry tried to make lemonade out of lemons. The following night he went on David Letterman to read the “Top Ten Rick Perry Excuses.” After that, Perry seemed more relaxed and his debate performances improved. Unfortunately, it did little change the minds of Republican primary voters and Perry remained mired in single digits.
As Stacy McCain noted last September, Perry underwent back surgery in July. Given Perry’s previously spotless electoral record one must wonder if Perry’s health wasn’t an issue if it would have turned out to be a Perry vs. Romney battle. Alas, we will never know.