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Perry: 'This is Omaha Beach'


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- With a sense of history on the biggest political day -- to date -- of the 2012 cycle, Texas Gov. Rick Perry today compared the GOP's quest to defeat President Barack Obama to one of the deadliest battles of the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944.

"This election is about stopping a president of the United States and his administration that is abusing the Constitution of this country, that is putting America on a track to bankruptcy," Perry told a hotel ballroom packed with more than 200 volunteers. 

"It is a powerful moment in Americans' history, and you are on the front lines," he added. "This is Concord. This is Omaha Beach. This is going up the hill realizing that the battle is worth winning."

Those supporters, who represent 32 states, descended on the Perry team's nerve center at the West Des Moines Sheraton after the Christmas holiday. About 500 of them will fan out to caucus sites today across the state to advocate for the Texas governor.

Introducing her husband, an emotional Anita Perry thanked supporters for their loyalty in a campaign most recently scarred by a Politico article rife with quotes from anonymous staff members who savaged their colleagues for the team's early disorganization.

While Perry has gained few endorsements since his famously devastating debate performance in Michigan back in November, several of his early backers have made the journey to frigid Iowa for the governor's final push.

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are among the allies on hand.

And they remain loyal -- and on  message.

"I will leave it to the pundits to look at polls and campaign staff," Jindal told NBC News. "To be honest with you, I didn't endorse Rick because of the polls. I didn't endorse Rick because of his campaign organization. I endorsed him because of his executive experience and his fiscal conservatism."