After going all out to turn his debate gaffe into a day of free media, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is following up with the other kind. Within the last hour, we caught one of his campaign ads on Fox News.
The New York Times, quoting a source in a rival campaign who is monitoring ad buys, says it's part of a nearly $1 million purchase by the Perry campaign on Fox. (Update, 7:53 p.m.: National Journal/CBS campaign trail reporter Rebecca Kaplan has confirmed that figure.) That seems an astonishing investment at this stage of the campaign, when most campaigns are focused on reaching the voters who will count -- in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida.
But its a sign of how much ground Perry thinks he needs to make up with the GOP base that he's pouring the one thing he's got going for him -- money -- into an image makeover.
Will it work? Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, a man who knows first hand what it's like to lose the confidence of his party's activists, says Perry's senior moment, combined with his defiance of conservative party orthodoxy on immigration, may prove fatal. In a roundtable on National Public Radio, Steele says of Perry's Wednesday debate performance: "Yeah, it's kind of the last nail in the coffin."
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