Perry's weekend attention: Wanted or unwanted?
October 3rd, 2011
08:54 AM ET
9 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. Rick McDaniel

    That was a manufactured attack, dishonest, and politically motivated.

    Cain made it worse, by using the report to make his own manufactured, and politically motivated attack.

    Cain cost himself a lot of points from me, for doing so. I am not fooled by these kinds of manipulative accusations.

    October 3, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. concerned citizen

    Great idea Gov.Perry, give the Cartels a reason to unite.

    October 3, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  3. John

    You know those good old boys. He is probably just like his father. The apple does not fall far from the tree. He is probably a racist and hiding it with his religion. We can not put this man in the office of president. Those slave owners in the past had no problem with that name and claiming that they were Christians. I wonder if they ended up in Heaven or Hell. Probably the latter.

    October 3, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. Ken

    Clearly this is an attention getting ploy by the Cain camp. I believe the offensive word was painted over years ago. I will say that if Cain finds the N-word so offensive as so many Black people do, then they should stop using the word so much. It's much more prevalent in their conversations than in any other racial group.

    October 3, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  5. April

    Is the Mexican gov't funding his campaign? I don't understand why the GOP continues to support him because he is lip service ~ wants to be provocative with his statements yet shows he cares nothing about the people of this country ... in-state tuition for illegals, thinks Medicare is bad, and now send OUR soliders to Mexico? Get out of here ... if he did that I would want our men to say enough is enough. Let's restore America before trying to fix everyone else.

    October 3, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. Sally Doe

    Love the lounge singer comment! "I'll do it my way....", oh what's that you say?, oh ok........"'I'll do it their way"

    October 3, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. diridi

    He is an official Idiot....o.k, He calls all blacks N word....ban Social Security, Medicare, Send Troops to Mexico for WAR, Drain nation like IRAQ.....just an Idiot...

    October 3, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. Truman Guy

    Yeah send troops into Mexico so Texas could annex them like they alwwys wanted to do in the 1800's. For a guy who wanted to leave the US as a State, now he wants us to use OUR troops to defend HIS borders. Texas....let them leave and take all Bush's and Cheney's with them and hopefully close the door behind them as they leave.

    October 3, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. Anonymous

    At least Perry is marginally smarter than Bush. Bush would have sent troops to New Zealand to fight the war on drugs along the border.

    October 3, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. johnson

    Send this fool back to bed this man is crazy and if he gets to become president LORD HELP US ALL.

    October 3, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. jb1963

    When exactly did the republican party become the war party. All they want to do is fight.
    They fight the Iraqi's
    the Afghan's
    the Taliban
    the middle class Americans
    the Lower class Americans
    the senior class Americans
    the Veterans
    The GLTB
    the unemployed
    now the Mexicans

    October 3, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. frpdp1008

    Hey, if we go to war with Mexico at least we will not be absorbing the logistical costs of sending and maintaining hundreds of thousands of expensive troops half way around the world!

    Of course, knowing just how most South Americans feel about the US anyway, we might just find it relatively impossible to stop at Mexico, and then where will we be????

    October 3, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    How refreshing to see the GOP/Tea Party "swift boat" one of their own.

    October 3, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Eagles

    You can't go into Mexico to stop the drug cartles that is just stupid. Just another waste of tax payer money. They should just legalize Pot cut the DEA bduget fighting pot and tax the sale of pot. The United States would make billions of dollars on a non harmful drug. The hard drugs war is not going to stop until the demand in America stops and people stop using drugs which is not going to happen. The war on drugs is a war they have been loosing for 30 years at the tax payers expense. Republicains always talk about lets cut useless spending and then they want to wage even more war against drug cartels. Don't get me wrong the Deomocrats also have some dumb ideas also. As an independent voter Perry is not the answer and I don't think obama is the answer either. Why can't Hillary and Christie just run togethor I think they are the best options we have. I would vote for a ticket Clinton/Christie they would get the country back on track....

    October 3, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. averagejoe

    Let's see, Perry's been going to this place since the 80's, when he was a Democrat, and nobody said anything......uh-huh. War with Mexico? He didn't say that, he said troops, with Mexico troops, to take out the cartels – BIG difference. Typical liberals twisting the facts. Not that I support Perry, but he'd be better than what we have now, apologizing to the world, throwing our friends (Israel) under the bus, tacitly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, growing government by 4 times what you complained Bush did, obamacare....the list of failures goes on, and on, and on.......

    October 3, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. A. Goodwin

    If Perry and his family were truly concerned about the language – why not have the rock permanently removed in the 80s? He was wealthy back then – even if it were a boulder, could they not turn it over or something?

    October 3, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Buster Bloodvessel

    Knucklehead Ranch sounds pretty good to me.

    October 3, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  18. Adam

    Ron Paul 2012. Rick Perry is a criminal and a sellout, Obama hasn't delivered on his promises, Romney is a socialist, and we can't afford perpetual war anymore.

    October 3, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  19. Sequoia

    It's good that Americans get to see what kind of ignorant, racist and culturally repugnant person Mullah Rick Perry really is.

    October 3, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  20. Melissa

    Ah... good old Rick "eminent domain" Perry showing his true colors again. Shame some of the crazies on the right don't want to look past a political label and see who the person really is.

    October 3, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. margie stephens

    does it never occur to anyone else that if the ineffective so called war on drugs were ended there would be no more drug problems at the border–people will always make their own stupid choices about taking drugs but there would no longer be this huge profitable business around it

    October 3, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. Retired Army in San Antonio


    I told you 'conservatives' and independents when he FIRST got into the race that you'd eventually see what this (ahem) 'Gentleman' was all about.

    We've had to deal with this guy for 11 years here in Texas because clown voters keep putting him back into the governors' chair. He's a lousy govornor, a lousy person......and he's not really a 'Conservative', more like a 'social evangelical'.....and he's definately a fake TEA Partier.

    Seriously.....I hope he wins the Republican Nomination.....he's what that party TRULY deserves!!!

    October 3, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. KGB

    The ranch has been named that for years based on an Indian attack that took place there in the late frontier days. I suppose it was a family of color that was killed. The story goes their heads were placed on spears and left on top of the hill. Hence the name N-Head, it also closely coincides with N-Head Hill also next to N-Head Graveyard. But I guess that didn't warrant making it into the complete story. To be politically correct, we should re-name everything that might be offensive to anyone. Should we begin with the Washington Redskins? Cleavland Indians? And on and on and on....

    October 3, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. MobiusEight

    Oh, this again... Can we get over this please? If words could kill then most of the American people would have died of bordem while their lawmakers called each other names and got nothing of value done.

    October 3, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel wrote:
    That was a manufactured attack, dishonest, and politically motivated.
    Everyting is political in politics. Why is the truth dishonest? Cain spoke honestly and truthfully. If the rock had been properly painted over, then this national conversation would not be taking place at all.

    October 3, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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