DES MOINES, Iowa--With the Iowa caucuses just three weeks away, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will barnstorm the state beginning on Wednesday, hoping that some retail politicking and a new anti-Washington ad will carry him to an upset victory in the hard-to-predict caucus balloting on Jan. 3.
In a new ad set to begin running in Iowa on Tuesday, Perry says, “Washington is the capital of political correctness, where doublespeak reigns and the truth is frowned upon. You can’t say that congressmen becoming lobbyists is a form of legal corruption. Or that we give aid money to countries who oppose America. Or that Washington insiders are bankrupting Social Security.
“You and I know it’s true but not politically correct. I’m Rick Perry, an outsider who will overhaul Washington and tell you the truth.”
The ad is the latest in a series of spots that Perry’s campaign has run as part of a $1 million ad campaign to reach caucus-goers. Recent ads have focused on Perry’s religious beliefs and attacked gay rights, themes aimed at the evangelical voters who typically dominate the caucus. One ad, which questioned why gay men and women are allowed to serve openly in the military, led to protests at a Perry campaign event on Sunday.
Perry has been at the back of the pack in recent polls of Republican voter preferences in Iowa, but the outcome of Iowa’s caucus-style of voting is notoriously hard to forecast.
Perry also told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday that he favors tougher restrictions on lobbying by members of Congress -- an indirect slap at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the current frontrunner, who has come under criticism for his lucrative lobbying work.
“We need to look at banning the ability of members to become lobbyists or at least extending the waiting period beyond the current law, and we also need to look at the definition of lobbying," Perry said. "You know, a lot of these members of the legislature or members of Congress, they become quote, consultants, to trade and lobbying organizations without actually registering as lobbyists. But you and I both know that’s just you’re hiding behind a definition –- this is like Bill Clinton saying what the definition of ‘is’ is.
"If you’re making that kind of money from trade and lobby organizations, yet you’re quote, a consultant, there’s no difference ... Let’s quit being politically correct here and call it for what it is. You’re trying to influence people, you’re getting paid for it."