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. Husain

    Does sending troops to Mexico will "throw Israel under the bus"? lol

    October 3, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Tekk

    1Rooster – Yes, perfect example of how one person is blamed for the actions of another.

    October 3, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Steve

    Man – if this is the best the Republican candidates can do to grab headlines, God help this country if any of these clowns actually GET elected! Maybe America needs to pay its politicians more because the current crop of Republican candidates are starting to look more and more like a circus sideshow. What about the pressing ECONOMIC ISSUES this nation faces??? HELLO GOP??? Anybody home???

    October 3, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. BillsCat

    This buffoon can't even to stick around to help while his home state is on fire, been linked to insider trading and strange campaign contributions, and still can't be quiet and go away. Push back against that tidal wave, Parry.

    October 3, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. KM

    Sounds like if Perry gets elected we'll just invent another conflict to extend the massive military overspending our country is doing. If you want to know why we have a $15 trillion deficit you'll have to look well beyond Obama's presidency. Look at our military expenditures in the last 50 years and you'll understand how defense contractors call the shots in our nation more than the voting public does. The media is complicit. Spread enough fear and the public doesn't mind spending more on the military than everyone else on the planet by such a large margin. Bombs, planes, guns, bullets, and fuel cost a lot of money. War is good for business. With the long-standing family connections to the defense industry, is it any surprise Bush took us to war, Bush2 took us to war, and Perry will try to do the same?

    October 3, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Mrmailman

    Europeans wiped out the Natives with Bacteria...........God I wish it was the other way around.

    October 3, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. AlaskaPalin

    Aw shoot! where is the importance. Isn't it time we grow out of this n word. If it is used in malice we can understand but some of the political claims on this word are ridiculous. Sticks and stones.

    October 3, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Neacee

    I don't understand why certain people cannot figure out why it is wrong for Caucasians to use "the word". Let me break it down for you. Your ancestors CHOSE to use this word as a negative connotation for African American/Black people ; thereby forfeiting your right to use it as anything other than that. African Americans can use it among themselves because it did not originate among them as something negative. I'm not agreeing that African Americans should use the word....but they have that option.....other races donot.

    October 3, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. NudeTruth

    Rick Perry should drop out of the race, if he didn't support illegals so much I would maybe take him seriously. However, a President shouldn't support and reward people for breaking the laws. There are only three contenders in the Presidential race right now, Romney, Cain, and Ron Paul has my vote.

    Ron Paul 2012!

    October 3, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Texas calm

    Rick Perry has the answer to the economic crisis.....fire all the teachers in the United States.
    Then hire cheap teachers from Mexico.
    What? He is doing it right now in Texas.

    October 3, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. carol

    that is the LAST thing you want........US troops going to Mexico.

    October 3, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. AC

    Why does the KKK always back the republican party? Because the republican party represents them!

    October 3, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. trashcup

    The PERRY SOLUTION – a PERFECT solution for Mr. Perry. Texas should secede from the United States immediately. Then PERRY could be KING or PRESIDENT or TOP DUDE or RIDE 'EM HIGH COWBOY of this new nation. Just think, the rest of us wouldn't have to send any more federal money to hundreds of military bases there (they would move out to other places), we wouldn't have to build their interstate highways anymore, Perry could build his own fence, get his own army together to invade Mexico, his school system would immediately go from being ranked 49th in our country to being #1 in HIS country, Southwest Airlines would become based in a foreign country. No more federal subsidies going to wheat farmers in Texas, Man, there are just so many advantages to Texas seceding from the Union and Mr. Perry could finally get his wish: KING of TEXAS!

    October 3, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. joe

    wow what a joke this is and cnn is making a big deal over nothing. So a geopgraphy term was used to describe this ranch. And now the far left nutts want to go crazy. Cnn is a joke black ppl and white ppl who give n1gger any thought are the ones who give the word power. Its just a frigging word. And its not like he called someone a n1ggerhead. This is stupid awful reporting

    October 3, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. jason

    Yes, I am republican and I am a racist...so what...survival of the fittest..I am smarted and healthier by nature, get over it...

    October 3, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. blf83

    If the sign was visible more than a few hours after signing the lease, Perry is unfit for the presidency.

    October 3, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Tim

    I wish the media would have looked into Senator Obama's background when he ran in 2008, like they are now currently looking into the candidates who will challenge him next year. If you have this kind of fact finding about Perry, why did they not check into Obama's background?

    October 3, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. jason

    typo, maybe I am not that smart;-)

    October 3, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. DeeDee

    What Nigger head started this story?

    October 3, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. jason

    Rick looked good from a distance, but he really does seem to be a moderate. Christie looked good but is a moderate...Sorry, back to Romney/Rubio!

    October 3, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. Thank You

    WOW! It is OK for CNN to print such a horrible word, but it is not OK for its readers to post the same word.......................................Do not believe me, try it for yourself!

    October 3, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Earl Lee Jones

    Enough is Enough, we all know that the Republican Party doesn't give a hoot about the minority folks, and that Gov. Perry is a stone cold racist from the Lopne Star State of Texas. If He makes it to the White House, this USA is in deep dodo.

    October 3, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. Earl Lee Jones

    Obama for 2012. 4 more years.

    October 3, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. Brian

    The makeup artists make Perry look so clean cut he comes across like a robot.

    October 3, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. marcia

    Perry for 2012. 4 more years.

    October 3, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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