Rick Perry’s campaign sent out a series of press releases tonight; here are some of the subject lines:
Setting the Record Straight on Social Security
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON JOB CREATION
Setting the Record Straight on Gov. Perry’s Tax Cuts
Setting the Record Straight on HPV Vaccine
Setting the Record Straight on Gov. Perry’s Border Security Record and In-State Tuition
You can see the pattern: The campaign had to counterspin against attacks on their candidate, over and over. Perry did a good job defending himself on some of these and a not-so-good job on others, but overall it wasn’t a great night for him. And I think John Podhoretz is onto something:
The main problem here, though, is that [Perry] seems to think he can wing these debates by referring to what he did in Texas here and what he did in Texas there. That is insufficient not just when it comes to giving voters a chance to judge him by the policy choices he might make; it’s insufficient because it suggests he thinks he can get away without getting specific and demonstrating a command of national and international issues.
This wasn’t a make-or-break night for Perry or anyone else; there are a lot of debates scheduled in the coming months, and Perry has plenty of time to improve. But he will need to improve.