Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who took his campaign to the Iowa airwaves last week, is out with another ad. This one tries to turn his lackluster performance in recent debates into an asset, and to soften the emerging perception of Perry as unlikable or overly aggressive.
Perry, who has fallen behind in Iowa, makes the 30-second ad’s opening statement. “If you are looking for a slick politician or a guy with great teleprompter skills, we already have that, and he’s destroying our economy,” Perry says. “I’m a doer, not a talker.”
The Perry campaign is obviously hoping to get the focus off of Perry’s communication skills, and back on his record in Texas, where, in the last two years, 40 percent of the new jobs in the United States have been created.
But there’s an inherent risk in downplaying the importance of communicating and debating as Perry runs for a job where both skills are critical. His campaign suggested earlier that he might skip some of the upcoming debates--there are at least a dozen more on the primary schedule. Perry said Sunday that he plans to be in at least five debates.
The ad is also an effort to introduce the softer side of Perry. Clad in an open-collared, light purple shirt, Perry looks straight into the camera and smiles as he talks about his record. Upbeat music plays in the background. His campaign is clearly aware that some see Perry as a bully, as reported by Dan Balz and not as a commander-in-chief, or even a guy you want to have a beer with.