Gov. Rick Perry's campaign faces some backlash

August 19, 2011 2:26:45 AM PDT
Governor Rick Perry is hitting the campaign trail hard, but it's hitting back. His aggressive approach is attracting some hecklers who are taking the opportunity to remind the governor he's not in Texas anymore.

If we've learned anything from Perry's first week campaigning, he has a favorite gear and that's to keep going. On Thursday, he called President Barack Obama the excuse-maker-in-chief.

If you look at Perry in New Hampshire Thursday morning with the sound down, it appears as if it's just another campaign event he's smiling through. But with the sound up, the picture changes a little.

"Stop attacking middle class families, Rick Perry!" one man in the crowd chanted.

For the first time in New Hampshire, the governor was met by loud protestors who are angry at his willingness to modify Social Security and calling it a Ponzi scheme.

After getting heckled by seniors, Perry got set up by a little kid.

"How old do you think the Earth is?" the boy asked him.

"How old do I think the Earth is? You know what, I don't have any idea.," Perry replied.

But his mom's question wasn't some cute meet and greet.

"Ask him about evolution," the mother said.

The boy's mother was trying to get the governor to address the controversy over teaching intelligent design - creationism basically - in Texas schools side by side with evolution.

"I hear your mom was asking about evolution and you know it's a theory that's out there and it's got some gas in it. In Texas, we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools," Perry replied.

"Ask him why he doesn't believe in science," the mother then said.

"I figure you are smart enough to figure out which one is right," Perry replied.

Perry's long Texas record is coming up again and again as he moves towards the top of the Republican pack and he's not shying away from some of his most controversial positions. On Wednesday, he said he didn't believe in manmade global warming.

"I do not buy into that," Perry said at a speech.

On Saturday, he repeated the line about Social Security being a Ponzi scheme, that without reform, it wouldn't be around for his 27-year-old son to collect. The Ponzi scheme phrase first surfaced in his book, 'Fed Up.' When it came out last November, Perry wasn't running for president and he acknowledged back then it was not a good thing with positions like that.

"Are you next? Do you plan to run for president in 2010?" 'Today Show' host Meredith Vieira asked him in November.

"If there is a better signal of my plans for the future of not running for President of the United States, it's this book. Anyone running for presidency is not going to take on these issues," Perry replied.

Perry's worst moment this week was likely the comments on the federal government. His campaign initially said quietly it was a tired and new candidate still trying to learn his way.

They are aiming to have him home two to three days a week. He hasn't been in Texas in seven days, and there's no return planned, at least through Monday.

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