Texas Governor Rick Perry has reportedly aligned himself with two of the most infamous Republican establishment operatives known for trashing conservatives.
Perry is working with Henry Barbour, whom conservatives want the Republican National Committee to censure for his group’s smearing of conservatives in the Mississippi Senate runoff, and Steve Schmidt, who has elevated his profile by maligning conservatives, especially former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Politico’s Maggie Haberman reported on Tuesday that Schmidt, the infamous hack from Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign whose gamble to go “all-in” and suspend the campaign during the financial crisis turned up snake eyes, “has joined the team” helping Perry “with the strategy around his indictment.” After McCain’s poll numbers plummeted after Schmidt’s reckless gamble, Schmidt attempted to re-write history and try to smear former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the mainstream press and blame the 2008 loss on her.
Though that gambit did not work, Schmidt did endear himself to the permanent political class and media, and he soon joined the likes of Meghan McCain in gleefully bashing conservatives on mainstream and even liberal outlets like MSNBC. He also hid in the woods before inviting the New York Times to find him. Conservative scholar and talk radio host Mark Levin simply wondered, “Why would Perry hire this conservative-attacker and Palin-hater?”
As Perry seriously considers a presidential run after his 2012 attempt failed due to campaign and debate mishaps, crony capitalism concerns, and his infamous statement in Florida in which he said conservatives opposed to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants did not have “a heart,” the Associated Press recently reported that Perry, “with the help of veteran Republican operative Henry Barbour,” has “begun hiring staff in key states to help prepare for a possible run.”
If policy is personnel, as Reagan said and those like Morton Blackwell always emphasize, Perry should be concerned. As Breitbart News reported, top conservatives have called on the Republican National Committee to censure Barbour for his “role in racially incendiary appeals to Democratic voters that voting for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) was a means of helping stop the Tea Party.” They have asked RNC Chair Reince Priebus “to create a special RNC committee to investigate the matter and eventually issue a formal RNC repudiation of the actions taken in Mississippi.”
The coalition “includes TPPCF Chair Jenny Beth Martin, ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell, Let Freedom Ring President Colin Hanna, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe, ConservativeHQ Chairman Richard Viguerie, former RNC grassroots director Drew Ryun, Family Research Council Action PAC Chairman Tony Perkins, and SOS4SOS PAC Chairman Ken Blackwell.”
Perry should be aware of scorpions like Messrs. Barbour and Schmidt, especially if he has dirty laundry. And even if he doesn’t, he should be no less worried, because those like Schmidt have proven that they may just make things up if things sour.