On the second day of his “Words Have Meaning” video campaign, Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday released a video accusing his chief rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, of flip-flopping on support for Race to the Top, President Obama’s education initiative.
The video -- titled “Romney’s Race to the Flop” -- shows footage of Romney at a Miami town hall on Sept. 21 praising Education Secretary Arne Duncan for his work on RTTP. “He, for instance, has a program called Race to the Top which encourages schools to have more choice, more testing of kids, more evaluation of teachers,” Romney says in the video. “Those are things I think make some sense.”
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said that Perry’s attack ad cuts off Romney’s remarks right before his next sentence, where he said, “For me, get that back to the state level.” Before the sentence praising Duncan, Romney also said, “The real answer for me on education is get it back to the states. Get information to the states. Encourage with incentives programs that work like school choice.”
The video cuts straight to footage of Perry at the GOP debate in Orlando, Fla., the next night accusing Romney of being the “one person on this stage who is for Obama’s Race to the Top.” Romney looks dubious, saying he doesn’t know what Perry is talking about. “I don’t support any particular program that he’s describing,” he says.
At the debate, Romney went on to say that Duncan’s initiatives were “a lot better than what the president did, which is cutting off school choice in the Washington, D.C., schools.”
On Monday, Perry released another video accusing Romney of having “an integrity problem” because he removed a line of his book, No Apology, between the hardcover and paperback editions to diminish the fact that Romney’s Massachusetts health care law served as a model for Obama’s health care law. Perry’s campaign appears to have seized on the tried-and-true campaign tactic of portraying his opponent as a flip-flopper.
This article appears in the September 27, 2011, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.