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Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has perhaps the best résumé in the presidential field. His state created 1.5 million jobs in the past eight years, he balanced his state’s budget every year, and he lowered taxes 75 times. He’s a veteran, tough on the border, and so pro-second amendment he shoots coyotes on his morning jog. Despite his bad experience with debating on back pain meds in 2012, his compelling history should make him a shoo-in for the top tier of the 2016 race.
But in a 17-person field where media oxygen is dominated by a reality-show blowhard and big donations are hoovered up by a presidential scion, it’s tough for even an alpha candidate like Perry to make headway. Poor polling forced him to last week’s kiddie-table debate which had only a third of the viewers as the main event later that night. Despite Perry’s strong performance, Carly Fiorina turned in an even better performance which attracted most of the post-broadcast attention.
After his campaign raised just over $1 million in the second quarter, times are getting tight around Perry HQ:
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign team in South Carolina is no longer being paid by his presidential campaign, National Journal has learned.
“Pay is only one reason people do this,” Katon Dawson, Perry’s South Carolina state director said in an interview. “We’ll be able to live off the land for a while.”
It is not clear if or when paychecks will start backing up for Perry’s team in South Carolina. Dawson said that Perry staffers in the state “have been paid up to two weeks ago.”
Dawson said core members of Team Perry, including himself, will continue to work, even if unpaid. He said Walter Whetsell and Le Frye, two top Perry operatives in the state, are among those still working.
“We’ll do it whether there’s pay or no pay,” Dawson said. In addition to the pay freeze, at least one Perry staffer was let go last week. Dawson said that move was unrelated to any “financial discomfort.”
On the plus side, Perry’s super PAC has raised about $17 million; certainly not Jeb! numbers, but impressive given the sprawling GOP field. Unless they can use that money to boost Perry’s profile fast, the swaggering Texan might be running out of time.