Perry's weekend attention: Wanted or unwanted?
October 3rd, 2011
08:54 AM ET
3 years ago

Perry's weekend attention: Wanted or unwanted?

(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.

Also see:

Cain's busy week

Perry open to sending troops to Mexico against drug cartels

McCain cautions Christie


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Rick Perry
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Fernando

    Perry is the by far the most sought after man in texas. People must learn to forgive and forget.

    October 3, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Texas has a state army. The Texas Guard. Not the National Guard, but a state guard. He could send them into Mexico. After all the governor of Texas is the Commander of the standing Texas Army. The other two branches of the Texas military are National Guards and are under the control of the U.S. government. So, if Perry is hot to start another war in a foreign country, Mexico is just a shot commute and he already has an Army.

    October 3, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. Dave

    Oh yes, I just became a "not-bigoted" person yesterday, says Perry, mea culpa, mea culpa.

    October 3, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Caliope Windsor

    RIck Perry can see Mexico from his kitchen window.....

    October 3, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. oro

    Save the money from not sending troops into Mexico and get a doggone border fence built. There should be no discussion about dream acts or anything else until the illegal migration across the border is stopped. Let the Mexican government pay for some mercenaries to come in if they are incapable of handling their own security battles. The US needs to stay out.
    I won't support Perry, but I do think that Cain pulled an Obama on him by jumping in with few facts the way Obama did with the policeman-Gates controversy. Cain was right in condemning the name but has no evidence that Perry's famiy did not paint over it right away as Perry claims. Cain should buy him a beer.

    October 3, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. noteabags

    "just goes to show how desperate are the democrats this time round"

    Yeah, how silly. It's perfectly fine to use the N word. We need to concentrate on more important issues like keeping those tax breaks for the rich.

    October 3, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. Yup

    Sorry folks but Perry is not the answer....he has made more mistakes and followed them all up with a smug smile and a shrug....hes just another political boy toy.

    October 3, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. Jennifer

    Perry for President!!!!!!!!!

    October 3, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. BCA

    As much as I loath Perry, and hope that he fails in his attempt to win the nomination, I will admit this is incredibly petty and stupid, and a non-issue. If you're going to try and tear it the man down, do it without the pathetic cry baby whining.

    October 3, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Joel Kilgore

    I will not comment about the troops, but the name on the rock? Let's get real folks. Offensiive or not, Perry did not own the land. If I had to boycot all of the hunting places with offensive words on rocks or road signs I would boycot hunting areas in almost half of the southeast.

    it seems we can point a finger at the smallest things, relevant to the person or not, and yet we cant see our real issues which are killing our economy, Country morality, freedom of faith, privacy, troops abroad, etc...

    My my how an ignorant or rather defensive word on a rock causes blame to anyone who visits the establishment. i guess all real ladies and gentlemen in public office or religious office must be sure to avoid Hooters at all costs.

    October 3, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. oro

    billybob
    "Yeah but the rock was on HIS property and he did not remove it. Didn't even try"

    The rock was on his father's LEASED property and wasn't his to remove. According to all the versions of this story, they did try to cover it up. The question is when. Perry says it was immediately and "anonymous" persons claim otherwise. Prove your statement that they did not even try.

    October 3, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Not a mention of the fact that this rock did indeed exist on his property and is still there, even if covered-up. Wouldn't one have gotten rid of that rock a long time ago? Just asking..........

    October 3, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. kate

    Seriously....you good ole boy TX Republican! Shame on you and your family. War with Mexico...really?? I hope you dont stay up at night with these "brilliant" ideas. The only thing wrong with AUSTIN...is that is it in TEXAS. Let the capital of the state give you some energy. YOU are way...out of touch. With any due respect.

    October 3, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Caliope Windsor

    You think it's bad that a small group of hunters SAW THIS WORD?? Now, MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE SEEING IT ON THIS WEBSITE! CNN must be evil for publishing it and we–the people who saw it and did NOTHING to have it taken down–are not fit to run for any political office whatsoever.....

    October 3, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. tokyo joe

    why not send troops to Mexico instead of bombing Libya

    October 3, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Thomas

    I live here in Texas and while I don't think they all are, the more down home and country, good ol boy, these people are, the more sure you can be that they are publicly closeted bigots who use every racial epithet there is when its just them and their friends. There's an old saying, "KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE BUT KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER." That's how these good ol boys operate, they'll smile at you and be nice and cordial and then when you walk away, that say some thing like, "Nice guy for a Nword." Of course they don't say Nword. I know many of these bigots. As a while man I know to keep them close too because I don't trust them. And I think Rick Perry is a Good 'Ol Boy.

    October 3, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. emdub

    I'm sure this will lose him a lot of votes – once the Tea party finds out it was painted over

    October 3, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. tamarinds

    josh rogen, in case you didn't read the article (you didn't, did you), this whole thing isn't being stirred up by the Democrats. It's being stirred up by another Republican nominee. If you're going to formulate opinions without any knowledge about the issue whatsoever, stick to Fox News.

    October 3, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. justin

    Look at the supporters in the picture. How pathetic, bored, lethargic & souless they look. I really want people like that to choose the president of the united States.

    October 3, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    So there is a report that links Gov. Perry to racism…. and we are surprised because…..

    October 3, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    This whole GOP race = Attack Perry. There is no substance or future plans or direction for our country coming out of debates. Perry is stuck with T E X A S and defending himself that ( Reminds me of Kerry) Also Perry does not seem to think beyond TEXAS.
    Republicans seems to be truly dumb, with so much hatred, totally unaware of what is happening in the world. Either way all these 10 including obma are not fit to lead this nation. It is really sad state of affairs

    October 3, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Saul

    Nobody cares about Rick Perry anymore. We need better GOP candidates or nobody will be going to the polls.

    October 3, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Dee

    This picture of Perry tells us all we need to know, him and a bunch of old white people!

    October 3, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. LittleLordHoseaComethUntoU2Say

    another conservative looser that hates go figure eh? Americas fall and rebirth is just around the bend and I will see in my lifetime. Don't be idol of mind to think a liberal will not pick up a gun, you'll be shocked and awed very soon now. Occupy America is coming and many of us are prepared to fight to move this county ahead and re-educate the conservative slowbots or outlaw their incestrial breeding and NOT allow parenting or exposure to young minds.

    October 3, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. neil

    Perry if you want to win do the following
    1. Stop defending yourself and start attacking
    2. Forget TEXAS. Talk national and international- Be sensible.
    3. Get your act together. Speak sophisticated be a smooth talker.
    4. SAY SITUATION IN TEXAS WARRANTS THOSE ACTIONS BUT NATIONAL SITUATION MIGNT BE DIFFERENT AND I WILL DO THINGS REPUBLICANS LIKE
    5. Finally remember Republicans are bunch of old hangs and morons lie to them win nomination and if you win follow what is in your brain

    October 3, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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