PERRY, Iowa –- Rick Perry urged a crowd of supporters not to settle for anything less than an “authentic conservative” in a rally here on Monday night in a town that was aptly named to be the site of his final appeal to Iowans.
“Remember this one question as you leave here tonight,” Perry asked a packed ballroom with 300 enthusiastic supporters, “Why would you settle for anything but an authentic conservative that shares your views and values that will go to Washington, D.C. and not apologize one moment for them? You don’t have to.”
The rally, held at the Hotel Pattee, was the site of an event for Rick Santorum just hours earlier. But despite a day of hammering the former Pennsylvania senator on news shows and at campaign events for his support of earmarks and increases to the debt ceiling, Perry steered clear of naming any of his Republican rivals here.
His message to voters was one of duty to country, a theme that fits with Perry’s experience as governor and a veteran of the Air Force.
“This election’s not about me, it’s about our country. And our country's calling you,” he told the supporters in the room. “They’re asking us. Our children are waiting for us to answer the call. And the question is this: are we ready to step forward?”