ANDERSON, S.C. –- Seeking to help her husband revive his presidential campaign after a fifth-place showing in the Iowa caucuses, Anita Perry recalled the peak of enthusiasm for Rick Perry's campaign as she addressed a local Republican club.
“If some of you were thinking about Rick Perry when we were here in August, I hope you're still thinking about him,” Anita Perry said, referring to Perry’s presidential announcement on Aug. 13 in Charleston.
“If not, I hope you will go back and visit his record of cutting spending, reducing taxes, and helping build the nation’s strongest economy in Texas,” she told a group of about 50 members of the Anderson County First Monday Club, meeting at a Chinese restaurant here.
Perry told the group that she and her husband had not taken the decision lightly to jump into the presidential race, adding that he still had her full support. “If I didn’t think my husband was the right man with the right record to lead this country, we would have stayed in Texas,” she said.
She took a veiled jab at her husband’s opponents, drawing an implicit contrast between what she called his political consistency -- both on the trail and in office. “With Rick Perry, you don’t have to wonder whether as president you’re going to get the same person you saw as a candidate,” she said.
Speaking with NBC News after her speech, Perry denied that her husband ever considered suspending his presidential campaign after Iowa, despite his late-night announcement on caucus night that he was returning to Austin to “reassess” the campaign.
“We were never going to suspend the campaign. We always said we were going to reassess, and we did and it took us no time at all and we’re happy to be here in South Carolina,” she said. “We are not quitters.”
While her husband continues his bus tour through the state, Anita Perry will visit with the York County Federation of Republican Women tonight in Rock Hill.