News / USA

Perry, Romney Square Off as Top Republican Contenders

Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L), and Texas Governor Rick Perry shake hands at the finish of a Republican presidential candidate debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, S
Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L), and Texas Governor Rick Perry shake hands at the finish of a Republican presidential candidate debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, S

Following the latest debate and several recent polls, the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination next year appears to be between two contenders, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  

There were eight Republican candidates on stage during the latest debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, but Perry and Romney seemed to draw most of the attention.

Recent polls show Perry has jumped into a lead over Romney, who had led the Republican field for months.

And both men insist their experience in job creation at the state level makes them the best choice to take on President Barack Obama in next year’s election.

Perry, Romney tout records

Perry is the longest continuously serving governor in the country, and took office following George W. Bush’s election as president in late 2000.

“When you look at what we have done during the past decade, we have created over 1 million jobs in the state of Texas at the same time that America lost over two-and-one-half million,” said Perry.

Romney served four years as Massachusetts governor and also boasts about creating jobs during his tenure. But Romney said he is the better choice because he spent years in private business before turning to politics.

“My experience having started enterprises, having helped other enterprises grow and thrive, is what gives me the experience to put together a plan to help restructure the basis of America’s economic foundation so we can create jobs again and good jobs and compete with anyone in the world,” he said.

During the latest debate, the other six Republicans struggled at times to be heard as Perry and Romney made occasional jabs at each other’s record.

Bachmann gets overshadowed

Perry’s quick rise in the polls has come largely at the expense of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, said American University expert Allan Lichtman.

“But I think ultimately this is probably going to come down to a two-person race between Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. I do not think Michele Bachmann, despite winning the Iowa Straw Poll, which historically has predicted nothing, has a broad enough appeal to be a candidate in the long run,” said Lichtman.

Bachmann had hoped her first-place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll last month would catapult her to the top of the crowded Republican field, but she has fallen back into third or fourth place in the latest polls.

Perry may have edge

Political analysts say Perry may have an advantage heading toward the presidential caucus and primary votes early next year because of his appeal to conservative Republican voters.

American Enterprise Institute expert Norman Ornstein said Perry appeals to social conservatives because of his religious background and also to Tea Party activists who want to cut the size of the federal government.

“The excitement behind Perry is as much a reflection of Republicans being uneasy about Mitt Romney as their nominee, and uneasy about all the other alternatives in terms of their electability,” said Ornstein.

Two more debates are scheduled for this month alone, and analysts say there is still plenty of time for frontrunners to stumble and for some of the lesser-known contenders to move up in the polls.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs