News / USA

Growing Tensions Between Romney, Perry in Republican Race

Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry argue during a Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, October 18, 2011.
Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry argue during a Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, October 18, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio

The Midwest state of Iowa has scheduled its presidential caucus vote for January 3, in what amounts to the official start of the process to choose a Republican Party nominee to run against President Barack Obama next year.

The battle for the party nomination has taken a personal turn in recent days between two of the top contenders, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Tensions between the Romney and Perry camps have been building for months and their apparent mutual dislike for each other burst onto the stage during the most recent Republican debate in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Perry came into the debate determined to be more aggressive after several mediocre performances and a drop in support in public opinion polls.

Perry chose to focus on allegations several years old that Romney knowingly employed illegal immigrants to cut his lawn.

PERRY:  “And Mitt, you lose all of your standing from my perspective because you hired illegals [illegal workers].”

ROMNEY:  “I don’t think I’ve ever hired an illegal in my life.

PERRY:  "I'll tell you what the facts are!"

ROMNEY:  "Rick, again, I'm speaking!  I'm speaking!”

Romney says he stopped using the landscaping company once he found they used illegal workers.

But he and Perry continued to spar over the issue during the debate.  At one point a clearly frustrated Romney gently put his hand on Perry’s shoulder in an effort to get him to stop talking.

“You have a problem with allowing someone to finish speaking and I suggest that if you want to become president of the United States you have to let both people speak.”

Illegal immigration has become an issue in the Republican campaign and Perry has been criticized by some of his rivals for not doing more to stop illegal immigrants from coming into Texas.

Public opinion polls show Romney and Georgia businessman Herman Cain are the top two contenders for the Republican nomination at the moment.  Perry trails further behind along with Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Rounding out the Republican field are former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.

The surprise of late has been political newcomer Herman Cain, the former top executive of a pizza company and the only African-American in the field.

Cain has gained notice with an appealing personality and a bold tax reform plan.

But Cain spent most of the latest debate trying to fend off attacks from rivals that his tax plan would wind up hurting poor and middle class voters.

“Politicians, they don’t want to throw out the current tax code and put in something that is simple and fair,” he said.

Analysts say Cain has risen in the polls because conservative Republican voters are still looking for an alternative to Mitt Romney.

Tom DeFrank is Washington bureau chief for the New York Daily News and a regular analyst on VOA’s Issues in the News program.

“He is a personification of a protest by the most conservative elements of the Republican party, who need a standard-bearer because they don’t like Mitt Romney who has emerged as the frontrunner but one who is viewed with a lack of enthusiasm by especially the Tea Party activists and the evangelicals [Christians],” he said.

Perry is now trying to regain his footing and offer a stronger challenge to Romney, but political strategist Matthew Dowd, an analyst for ABC News, says the tensions between the two men could turn off voters.

“It does not help the Republicans to have this kind of fight, especially how personal it got.  That helps Obama.  But President Obama is in a difficult spot and he knows it because of the state of the economy,” said Dowd.

White House officials have focused most of their attention on Romney of late, signaling that they believe the former Massachusetts governor remains the most likely Republican nominee to face President Obama next year.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More