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Perry a good fit in Iowa

NY Times:

At several levels, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas seemed a perfect fit for this small Iowa farming community.
In a speech here on Thursday, he covered themes that have always served him well as a politician in Texas: his modest farm-country background — as a young boy, he says, he did not have indoor plumbing, but he did have a mother who hand-sewed his clothes — and his record in Texas, including his contention that his own policies and not the state’s relatively robust energy-heavy economy deserve credit for creating jobs. 
Interviews with dozens of Republicans who turned out to see him in several towns here this week suggested that while the governor was relatively new to the presidential field, his charisma and “straight-talking Texan” message, as one man here described it, might have wide appeal. Many see him as a successful governor with a good economic record who shares their values and background, one that he is now trying to contrast with Mitt Romney by suggesting that his chief rival was born holding “four aces.” 
“I like his down-to-earth style,” said Beth Rasmussen, a central committee member of the Greene CountyRepublican Party here. “To me, he is a man of integrity.” 
But Mr. Perry’s campaign stops here were notable as much for what he did not say as what he did. Except for a couple of easy questions about credit unions at an industry convention in Des Moines, he took no questions in his first three stops. Instead he breezed through with short speeches that almost entirely avoided mention of his positions on issues that led to attacks by Mr. Romney and other rivals at Monday’s  debate, including on immigration and Social Security. 
And those attacks appear to have had a demonstrable effect, even with Iowa Republicans bowled over by the polished delivery that helped vault Mr. Perry to six straight victories in Texas statewide elections. Especially about immigration, where there was bafflement and disappointment over Mr. Perry’s stance, which includes granting children of illegal immigrants cheaper, in-state university tuition.C
“These issues have to be addressed for him to remain the main contender,” Roger Olhausen, the Greene County Republican chairman, said after Mr. Perry’s speech here. Had Mr. Perry taken any questions, Mr. Olhausen said, he also would have been asked about federal requirements to use ethanol in gasoline, which are critical to Iowa farmers enjoying corn prices that have tripled in the past half-dozen years. Mr. Perry has sharply criticized the mandates as governor, saying they drive up feed prices for Texas cattle ranchers.
Iowa is going to have to come to grips with the fact that no matter who wins their ethanol subsidy is going to be phased out.  It has not accomplished its stated purpose and it has driven up the cost of food.  I think Perry has also made that clear in earlier stops.  Social Security is a phony issue that is being pushed by Romney and others, because of some things Perry has said in the past.   A larger question should be directed to the critics.  What is your plan to make it viable for young people today?  They need to quit acting like it is not a problem.

On immigration, Controlling the border should be people's main concern.  While I did not favor the tuition break for the children of illegals, it enjoyed broad support in the legislature where only a handful of people voted against it.  Even if Perry had vetoed to law, it would have been overridden.  A more logical question would be his attitude about immigration law enforcement.  That is where the real breakdown is with this administration.  Without enforcement we will not get the self deportations needed to solve the problem.


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