It took Robert Gibbs two sentences to destroy the myth of Rick Perry’s Texas Miracle today. On Meet The Press Gibbs pointed out that the larger employer in Texas is Ft. Hood, which is paid for by the federal government.
Here is the video from NBC News:
Guthrie: The president said this week he’d cut Rick Perry some slack. Will you? Was it appropriate for this candidate to suggest the president doesn’t love his country?
Gibbs: Two things come to mind. Rick Perry is the governor who two years ago openly talked about whether Texas should leave the union. I think for Rick Perry to have at one point talked about secession from the union as early as 2005. I think it’s good he’s professed his love for his country. I think the American people are tired of the politics where if you or I don’t agree on something, I question your love of country and patriotism. That’s not going to put this country back to work. It’s not going to make this country stronger. It’s quite frankly not what our country was founded on. We ought to be able to have honest political debates in this country about political divisions and ways we see the country moving without questioning people’s patriotism and love for country.
(Clip of Bachmann claiming that the White House fears her most)
Guthrie: Robert is this the candidate the white house most fears?
Gibbs: Look, I think that Republicans are going to do battle in this. We saw it last week in Iowa where — where Michele Bachmann scored an important win in the Iowa straw poll, but I think the American people are going to get a chance quite frankly to kick the tires a little bit and look under the hood. I think when it comes to somebody like Governor Rick Perry they’re going to wonder why — why a place like Texas has one of the worst education systems. They’re going to wonder why a guy who doesn’t like the government, the largest employer in Texas is Ft. Hood and the army base. $25 billion from Economic Recovery Act went to Texas and helped Rick Perry balance his budget. They’re going to wonder why, quite frankly, they’re 47th in wages just like they’re going to wonder why Mitt Romney, when he was governor of Massachusetts, was 47th in job creation.
Gibbs shredded the myth of Rick Perry’s Texas Miracle in two sentences. Rick Perry’s miracle would have never been possible without federal money. Perry is going to have a hard time in an election justifying his miracle when the largest employer in the state is the federal government, and he used federal money to balance the state’s budget. The mention of secession was a revival of the same strategy that LBJ used against Barry Goldwater in 1964. LBJ’s strategy was to contest the election on the basis of the two candidates’ personalities.
His campaign painted Goldwater as an impulsive extremist:
The “Daisy” strategy will likely be very effective for Obama against Perry or Bachmann, If 2012 follows the recent presidential election trend and becomes a personality contest, Obama and his high personal approval ratings will have a decided advantage.
Rick Perry’s Texas Miracle is going to continue to be debunked by the Obama campaign. The question is simple. If Rick Perry hates big government, why was his “miracle” so dependent on federal dollars? If big government is the problem, why did he use it as a solution?
The one thing that the Republicans still don’t get is just how good Obama’s campaign team is. They are the best around for a reason. It took Gibbs exactly two sentences to destroy Rick Perry’s Texas Miracle. The 2012 GOP field is like shooting fish in a barrel for Gibbs, Axelrod, Plouffe, and company.
The hypocrisies of the GOP field are big enough to drive a truck through, and that truck is going to going to have an Obama sticker on its bumper.