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Monday, October 08, 2012



Published September 24, 2011-Updated October 18, 2011

“Mitt Romney-Mr. What You ’Bout to Say Pretty Rick?’

by Nathan’ette Burdine-Follow on Twitter@nbnylemagazine

             During his younger years, Rick Perry was considered a handsome man.  Hence, the name “Pretty Ricky.”  Even today, some comment on his qualities by noting how "Downy" soft his hair is.  But to Mitt Romney, Rick Perry is an opponent who’s trying to steal his crown as the Republican presidential nominee.  Mitt Romney knows the press is headlining the Republican presidential race as a Romney vs. Perry bout.  And for the first two debates, the former Massachusetts governor walked in with a glaring “What you ’bout to say Pretty Ricky” stare, making it clear he will not be pushed over. 

            During the first debate, the moderator asked Romney about his job record as the governor of Massachusetts.  Romney stated that he was able to bring unemployment down to 4.7% and was able to create 48,500 jobs between 2003-2007.  After Perry was asked to respond, Romney turned towards Perry and stared at Perry as if to say, “I wish you would say something bad about me.”  Perry accommodated the thought that was being conveyed through Romney’s stare by stating that Romney didn’t create jobs.  Perry went on to gloat about how his tenure as Texas governor has seen job growth that has contributed to the modern day “Great Southern Migration” people are making from the north to the great state of Texas.  Romney stared at Perry as if to say, “I know this …just didn’t.”  After Perry finished praising himself for Texas’ contribution to the modern day “Great Southern Migration,” Romney turned towards Perry and proceeded to crack on him by stating that Rick Perry didn’t create jobs no more than Al Gore created the internet.  Basically, Romney painted Perry as a delusional RepDem (a Republican-Democratic) whose thought pattern is similar to the former Democratic Vice President.  For Rick Perry, it also didn’t help that he supported Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign and was a Democrat until 1989.  This just gave more support to the belief that Perry is really a blue shirt Democrat wearing a red coat.

            Perry, however, tried to take the attention away from his previous relationship with the Democrats by painting Romney as a hypocritical Republican whose actions suggested that he was more Democratic than Perry could have ever thought to be.  Wolf Blitzer, the moderator for the second debate, asked Perry about Romney’s job record.  Romney turned towards Perry and gave him a stare that said, “I dare you to say something bad about me.”  For a moment, Perry seemed to be up to the challenge.  A smile came across Perry’s face as he began to link Romney with the Republican’s favorite Democrat, President Obama.  He stated that Romney used the federal stimulus money to stimulate Massachusetts’s economy and gave the Obama administration the template for the unfavorable Health Care Reform bill.  However, there was a central problem with Perry’s argument.  President Bush was the president when Romney accepted the federal stimulus money.  President Bush, like Romney, is a Republican.  And just as it is not a political sin for a Democratic president to give money to a Democratic governor, it is not a political sin for a Republican president to give money to a Republican governor.  Nevertheless, Romney shot back by painting Perry as a nimpkopoo who didn’t understand how politics works.

Romney proceeded by giving Perry a crash course on Politics 101 by telling Perry that each state functions differently because each state has its on issues.  Hence, Texas is not Massachusetts and Massachusetts is not Texas.  Therefore, Texas functions differently from Massachusetts because Texas has different issues than Massachusetts.  In terms of the health care issue, Romney emphasized how his model was specifically made for the people of Massachusetts.  Romney pointed out that unlike many Texans, many of the citizens in Massachusetts have health care.  Romney sealed his point by stating that Rick Perry has been given four aces a Republican legislature, Republican supreme court, zero taxes, and oil.  And even with the four aces Rick Perry has, he hasn’t been able to capitalize on them.  Basically, how is Rick Perry going to have the presence of mind to be the President of the United States when he doesn’t have the presence of mind to capitalize on his four aces he’s been given as the governor of Texas? 

Unfortunately for Perry, he is not the “I’m so pretty” Muhammad Ali of politics.  Romney has successfully used his glaring stare and political wit to reduce Perry to the bumbling “pretty boy” by taking Perry’s strengths and making them his weaknesses.  Take for instance how Romney used Perry’s gloating of his job creation as a way to paint Perry as delusional by linking him to former Vice President Al Gore.  Political pundits have noted that Rick Perry’s problems stem from the fact that he has not debated as much as the other candidates.  As it stands, Rick Perry’s lacking debating skills may be his Achilles hill on his way to the Republican nomination for president.








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