Why No Questions for Rick Perry?

Written by David Frum on Wednesday August 3, 2011

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has taken some heat for his low profile during the debt-ceiling debate and then his having-it-both-ways comments afterward. Fair enough. But why no heat at all for Romney's current leading rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry? The Austin American-Statesman reports:

A spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry would not directly say Monday whether Perry supported the debt-ceiling deal reached between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders.

Asked whether lawmakers should approve the deal, Perry spokesman Mark Miner said: "The governor thinks the right track to go down is ‘cut, cap and balance.' That was the approach he believed was best for the country."

FrumForum contributor Zac Morgan has aptly termed Perry the "Teastablishment candidate." Perry's whole strategy relies systematically on having things both ways. Thus far, Perry has succeeded better at his mission than Romney. But the fact that Perry is better at pandering than Romney should not obscure attention to the fact that he is indeed engaged in pandering at least to one constituency, and more likely to both.