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Rick Perry’s jobs plan: Drill, baby, drill

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Rick Perry wants Friday to be his big do-over day.

After stumbling in Tuesday’s Republican debate and admitting that the format just isn’t his thing, Perry will be all over the airwaves today talking up his energy-based jobs plan, which he previewed in an op-ed and on CNBC. Summed up in three words (Herman Cain would love the simplicity), Perry’s plan amounts to this: Drill, baby, drill.

POOL

REUTERS

Texas Gov. Rick Perry

“We’re sitting on a treasure trove of energy in this country,” Perry said in a CNBC interview. “There’s 300 years worth of reserves underneath the land of America and that’s how we are going to get America working again.”

The plan, which he will announce Friday morning at a steel plant in West Mifflin, Pa., will create 1.2 million jobs, according to the Texas governor. Perry kicks off his day with a tour of the morning shows on CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.

It’s a strategy that comes with a fair amount of risk for Perry, who has seemed unprepared in debates. Remember Sarah Palin’s shaky interview with Katie Couric?

Will the governor be up for the grilling, even if it comes from sunny, chatty anchors on morning TV? Many millions will tune in, likely outpacing viewership of all of the last four debates. Will this begin the big reset for Perry? Or will he falter again? Perry’s campaign has publicly shrugged off his shaky debate performances; the strategy now is to let Rick Perry be Rick Perry. Can he stand the scrutiny?

Perry then heads to Iowa, where he will headline a fundraiser (his visit overlaps with that of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who is on a three-day swing through the state).

And Perry’s wife, Anita, who spoke of being “brutalized” by the press and criticized by fellow Republicans in an emotional South Carolina speech on Thursday, continues her tour of the Palmetto State. Will she continue to play the faith and victim card, or sound a more upbeat tone as she campaigns for her husband?

Post reporter Melinda Henneberger asks in a good story today if Rick Perry is really up for the grueling road ahead, or would he rather stay in Texas?

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, who continues to rack up endorsements, big and small, will hit the money trail in Oregon, which is among the states with the highest Mormon population. My colleague, Chris “The Fix” Cillizza, reported Friday that Romney took in a not-too-shabby $14.2 million for the third quarter (Perry raked in an impressive $17 million).

And as Romney begins to sound more centrist and focs on the middle class, the Democratic National Committee is out with an ad Friday that hits the Republican on his comments about a $1,500 tax cut for the middle class being “temporary little band-aids.”

As for Herman Cain, a rarity on the campaign trail but a fixture on the cable-news shows, the looming question is this: Can he transfer his high poll numbers, the fascination with his 9-9-9 plan, and his affable debate performances into a ground game in the early states? Or will it be 9-9-9 all the time?

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