Former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s fundraising for his 2016 presidential bid has been anemic. The Republican hopeful raised just 1.07 million dollars over the last fundraising quarter. That figure contrasts sharply with the 17 million Perry managed to raise in his first quarter of fundraising activity during the 2012 election cycle.
After Perry’s horrible debate performance in 2012, when he lost count between two and three on which government agencies he would eliminate, the former Texas Governor has been trying to roll out a new improved Rick Perry. The 2016 version of Rick Perry comes complete with a pair of glasses attached, presumably designed to make him look smarter. Unfortunately, it appears that Republican donors were fonder of the dumber Rick Perry.
Perry’s 1.07 million dollars raised in the 2nd quarter of 2015, trails the 1.4 million raised by Carly Fiorina, who is usually seen as a political afterthought in the GOP field, although she does have the distinction of being their only female candidate. By comparison, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz all raised over 10 million dollars in the 2nd quarter. Rand Paul raised 7 million.
Perry’s fundraising is so pathetic that it is likely he will be forced to bow out of the race before the first primaries are even held. With the help of pro-Perry Super PACs kicking in an extra 16.8 million to assist the former Texas Governor, he might hang on through the summer and fall. However, even the Perry Super PACs are falling behind the competition. Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise Super PAC has raised 103 million dollars already. Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s Keep the Promise groups have raised 37 million.
Rick Perry’s 2016 problem is that while he has become a more polished and prepared candidate, he lacks the bluster and bombast to stand out in a field of 15 candidates. Measured rhetoric and a nice pair of glasses can’t compete with Ted Cruz’s “abolish the IRS and fill out your taxes on a postcard” simplicity or Donald Trump’s “I’ll build a wall and have Mexico pay for it” thunder.
Republican donors demand simplicity. Jeb Bush ridiculing Barack Obama for using big syllable words was a blatant appeal to the proud anti-intellectualism of GOP donors and voters. Unfortunately, Rick Perry didn’t get the memo. Republican donors don’t want a smarter Rick Perry. They prefer to spend their money on candidates who keep their ideas “dumbed down”. While it may be too late for Governor Perry to resuscitate his moribund campaign, if he wants to have any hope at all, he should ditch the glasses and thicken his Texas drawl. If he’s convincing enough, maybe the money will start flowing back in to his campaign coffers.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.