Texas Governor Rick Perry hasn't announced yet, but the Rick Perry For President campaign has begun in earnest as Perry seeks to mend fences with the most determined haters in the social conservative movement--professional gay rights opponents.
Perry had to mend fences because he responded to the passage of gay marriage in New York by saying something that sounded vaguely like acceptance.
“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said that marriage can be between two people of the same sex and you know what that is New York and that is their business and that is fine with me, that is their call. If you believe in the tenth amendment, stay out of their business”.That quote was a problem for Perry because of the particular nature of his candidacy.
Rick Perry's No. 1 strategy for the Republican primaries is to beat out Michele Bachmann for the position of social conservative/Tea Party candidate and then edge Mitt Romney over the long haul.
And it's a viable strategy.
Mitt Romney is a very weak frontrunner who is incredibly vulnerable to negative advertising and many social conservative groups would tend to support Perry over any woman not named Sarah Palin. As a result, Perry has a definite path to the nomination.
But social conservatives are just as opposed to gay rights as George Wallace was opposed to civil rights for African-Americans and Rick Perry was denounced by Rick Santorum and others for his "appeasement."
So it was onto the haters for a little "gay marriage reparative therapy."
Today, Perry stopped by the radio program of Tony Perkins, the head of America's most respected hate group, the Family Research Council. The Family Research Council was named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because they publish inflammatory material that claims that gay people belong in jail among other things. Last February for example, Peter Sprigg, the senior researcher at the Family Research Council (FRC) told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that "I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior." All in all, the FRC's statements on homosexuality reminded the Southern Poverty Law Center of the Klan's statements on race. So the FRC was named a hate group.
Perry didn't exactly retreat from his view that New York had a right to legalize gay marriage, but he did manage to mollify Perkins by restating the blanket opposition to gay marriage in Texas and his own preference for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Right and that is the reason that the federal marriage amendment is being offered, it’s that small group of activist judges, and frankly a small handful, if you will, of states, and liberal special interests groups that intend on a redefinition of, if you will, marriage on the nation, for all of us, which I adamantly oppose.Of course, that's never going to happen and Perry knows it. Support for gay marriage has been growing steadily over the years and just recently passed the 50%. The chances of conservatives passing an anti-gay marriage amendment to the constitution are exactly zero.
But reality isn't that meaningful of a concept for the FRC or any conservative group. The point for Perry was to pander enough to let the Family Research Council know that he was "one of them" and he succeeded.
And the Perry for President campaign goes on.