Rep. Harris Rethinking Perry Endorsement

by Jason Tolbert ([email protected]) 62 views 

In June, 20 Republican state representatives jumped out early in an effort spearheaded by Rep. David Sanders to form Arkansans for Rick Perry.  However, since then, this list has gotten shorter rather than longer.

In a press release in October, I noticed this list dropped down to 19 names with Rep. Jane English’s name was noticeably absent.  The release also incorrectly included Land Commissioner John Thurston who told the AP he had not endorsed Perry.  The last I spoke with Thurston a couple of weeks ago he was considering supporting Herman Cain.

And now it looks like another one might be jumping ship as well, according to Rep. Justin Harris’ Facebook wall.

“Is it just me, but Gov. Perry is not making the come back that was expected,” posted Harris.  “I know I put my name too early on a list. Wrong decisions can always be changed.”

The dropping support in Arkansas is perhaps a reflection of the dropping support across the nation.  The latest polls show Perry in a distant fourth place behind Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich. He is only a few points ahead of Ron Paul, which is sort of the Mendoza Line of the GOP Presidential Primary.

It is hard to put a finger on exactly why Perry has floundered, but his poor debate performance is certainly a major part of it.

I know Harris was not pleased with Perry’s statement in an earlier debate where he said, “If you say that we should not educate children who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought there through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”  Last session, Harris sponsored HB1008 which would have required U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the United States for a person to be eligible for in-state tuition.