Perry tries to get his name out

Published: Oct 10 2011 06:53:27 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 19 2011 09:38:02 AM CDT
HOUSTON -

Gov. Rick Perry is quickly finding out what it is like to campaign outside his beloved Texas.

Perry ignored the shouts of protesters as he shook hands across New Hampshire Thursday.

"Perry is good on the stump and one-on-one, and that will do him well. The press is going to be unrelenting," Rice University political science professor Robert Stein said.

Six days into his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Perry is making headlines for comments about global warming and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

"You don't expect out of the gate you would get that kind of criticism. He is going to have to clean that up and clean that up very quickly," said Stein.

The chairman of the Harris County Republican party, Jared Woodfill, said he hopes Perry won't lose the passion and energy and conviction on the campaign trail that has allowed the governor to be so successful in the past.

"He is passionate about what he believes and he doesn't muddle it or hide it under guise of political correctness," said Woodfill.

Enough people believe in Perry that he has raised more than $100 million in his three gubernatorial campaigns. Texans for Public Justice lists two of his top donors as Houstonians Bob Perry of Perry Homes and auto tycoon Thomas Dan Friedkin. Dallas business owner Harold Simmons is also listed as a million-dollar donor.

"He has a lot of money, but has this other constraint. It is not like Texas where you can raise as much as you want and give as much as you want and spend as much as you want, " said Stein.

Pollsters said donors are attracted to Rick Perry's social conservatism and economic conservatism as examples of what he would do in Washington.

The creation of jobs in Texas remains the marquee for Rick Perry's campaign.

"I think when Gov. Perry gets up there and talks about job creation since 2009, and how almost all the jobs were created in Texas since that time, it is going to resonate all across the country, " said Woodfill. "Obviously, when you have a good record they have got to find something to tear Gov. Perry down. They talk about jobs not being high paying jobs. Well, I promise you this, there are a whole lot of high-paying jobs, but with respect to minimum wage jobs Americans would rather have minimum-wage jobs than no jobs at all."

Woodfill thinks Perry's biggest hurdle may be name recognition. Before this week, Rick Perry was not widely known outside Texas, with an estimated 50 percent of Americans not knowing much about him.

The next debate for the Republican primary candidates is on Sept. 7. It will give the other half of the country a chance to hear more from Rick Perry.

"Rick Perry has to prove to himself and the voters he is on message and a disciplined and focused candidate. Is he a favorite? No. Is he a legitimate candidate? More than legitimate. He is a serious candidate for the nomination," said Stein.