(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry grabbed headlines throughout the weekend, putting the campaign on defense following a couple controversy-filled days for the Texas governor.
A front-page Washington Post story Sunday exposed the eyebrow raising name of a hunting camp leased and frequented by Perry and his father. "Niggerhead" was painted across a rock at the gated entrance of the property, according to the report. But Team Perry was quick to clarify the account, issuing a harsh statement early Sunday morning after CNN contacted the campaign.
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele responded to TIME.
"A number of claims made in the story are incorrect, inconsistent, and anonymous, including the implication that Rick Perry brought groups to the lease when the word on the rock was still visible," Perry communications director Ray Sullivan said in a statement. "The one consistent fact in the story is that the word on the rock was painted over and obscured many years ago."
Sullivan said the governor's father, who the paper reported first leased the property in 1983, painted over the offensive language in the early 1980s. Sources quoted in the Post story said the word was visible until a few years ago.
The first reaction to the story from a Republican presidential candidate came from Herman Cain who appeared on two Sunday morning talk shows and called the property name "very insensitive."
On "Fox News Sunday," the former Godfather's Pizza CEO, who is African American, said there "isn't a more vile, negative word than the N-word, and for him to leave it there as long as he did, until before, I hear, they finally painted over it, is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country."
Perry's camp shot back again, this time directly to the GOP rival.
"Mr. Cain is wrong about the Perry family's quick action to eliminate the word on the rock, but is right the word written by others long ago is insensitive and offensive," Sullivan said in a statement. "That is why the Perrys took quick action to cover and obscure it."
While the ranch name consumed much of the Beltway chatter Sunday, it was Perry's comments about sending troops into Mexico to combat drug cartels that received the most attention Saturday.
"It may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and to keep them off of our border," Perry said after speaking at a house party in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Perry said the leaders of Mexico and the U.S. should meet after next year's elections to address the deadly drug trade in that country.
Campaign press secretary Robert Black said the border governor wanted to cooperate with the Mexican government and wasn't ruling anything out.
"He's going to work with the Mexican government to do what's necessary," Black said.
– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.
Cain's busy week
Perry open to sending troops to Mexico against drug cartels
McCain cautions Christie
The REAL MORALS of the GOP at their best.
When will these white trash morons learn the Civil War and Segregation are over.
Cain himself is an insult to blacks; now he makes a big deal about a stupid rock? he should really think about how his fellow gopers feel about blacks in general, including him!!!
So basically, Perry wants to bring a WAR to the U.S. Troops to fight cartels. What is going on with the GOP?
I am so glad that that good, innocent, upstanding citizen of a man troy davis, whom was murdered last week by those racist Georgians is not here to have to hear a person from Texas once wrote that horrible, vile, disgusting word on a rock that could be seen from a public highway!
Would someone find out just how long the Perry family let that offensive word remain on the sign? Seems as if even a day would be waaayyyy too long. But I don't live in TX. That's obvious.
As for sending troops to Mexico, how about Perry leading the charge? After all he jogs with a weapon strapped on, so he'd be ready to go.
I will write whatever word I want to on my own property, and if the goons do not like it, GOOD, I do not want them around anyhow.
Wow so many ignorant racists. Are we really in the 21 st century? Let's just remember what happened the last time we elected a dumb guy from Texas to the office of President of the U.S.A.
I had considered voting for Cain but not now. That's pretty low.
Republicans love to make war and have our troops fighting in another country. No wonder the USA is in Debt. It all about the wars the Republicans create and start. Even McCain is trigger happy.
Two words: Sovereign nation.
But I guess being multi-syllabic, they don't register with you, do they Gov. Hair?
This not a new.... news this is already known FACT Republicans are racist
The list goes on, It is the nature of Republicans to racist, what more can we say
Finally someone is talking about the problem with Mexicans next he should talk about cutting off all the foreign payouts and pave a freaking road or two or pay a teacher or build a school