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. V. P.

    I'm just so tired of all the racism in America, I don't care how long ago it was. The fact still remains that racism is ALIVE and WELL in this country. I wouldn't be surprised if Perry went there while the name is still visible on the rock. By the way our troops shouldn't have to help Mexico with their drug issues. If they do, it should be a trade off, keep your illegal immigrants out of the USA and we will help with your drug situation. Have a nice day all.

    October 3, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Cullan L330

    Perry is most obviously not Presidential material, and if America is dumb enough to vote for this man who will do every bit as much of damage to the economy as Bush did (their policies are the same), then America deserves every bit of the ensuing damage that will come.

    October 3, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. Earl Lee Jones

    Enough is Enough, Mopst Blacks knows that the Republican Party doesn't give a damn about us. They are for the white and rich, so lets not put Mr. Perry in the White House or you'll be sorry. Down with the "N" Word.

    October 3, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. vatoloke

    I guess he'll try to catch that elusive bandido Panch Villa also.

    October 3, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Jersey George

    All the bigots out there who diminish or are flippant about the use of the N-word would undoubtedly feel differently if they had been born black and grew up in a country where they were the target of cruel, tasteless jokes and endless discrimination. Think about it.

    October 3, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Taskmaster

    Cain make the standard out cry on an unfounded news report wiyhout verifing anything. You can't trust any mans judjment who wont take the time to confirm reports befor running off at the mouth.

    October 3, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Paul

    lol what a jackwagon. now he wants us to send troops into mexico? hey how about just legalizing marijuana then no one has to die anymore?

    October 3, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. John

    At first I was disgusted...the way the media initially reported it. Now I see that Perry's dad painted over the rock so to take that action, it means they were against it. Here is the media grabbing headlines about race again and sensationalizing. Don't know how I feel about Perry yet but this story certainly doesn't show racism.

    October 3, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Neacee

    I grew up in Texas in a small town and Rick Perry is just a small sample of the prejudice and hate that is common in such areas. I and my family members have experienced it first-hand. For the person that posted that we should just get over "the word"....maybe we can if incidents like the dragging of James Byrd stop happening....especially in this day and age. No maybe your people should JUST GET OVER THEIR HATE AND PREJUDICE !!!

    October 3, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. mfhpr

    Perry = Just another religious freak masquerading as a politician.

    October 3, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. TexasLogic

    It's interesting to see all these GOP hating comments because Perry leased a place to hunt that had a racial slur painted on it years ago. If he put it there, that would be one thing but you people are going off about how hurtful the word is and how the use of the word perpetuates racism. And to that I say BS. You can hear the word every 5 seconds by tuning your radio to any hip hop station across the country.

    I'm white and don't use the word. I believe it is derogatory but I also find the whole argument that the mere pronunciation of word can cause unquantifiable hurt to be a complete joke. If a spoken word hurt me or members of a community I belonged to that much, I would first start with eradicating it within my own community before I searched far and wide for instances where it might have been painted on a rock somewhere 20 years ago.

    People quickly forgot that it was the Republican Party that ended slavery and stood for racial equality and women’s rights. Just as Cain said, you all have been brainwashed into thinking that the democrats are “the good guys.”

    This just goes to show how desperate the liberal left is to find some way to generate public squabble toward the GOP. It's somewhat humorous to witness the desperation – mostly sad but somewhat humorous.

    October 3, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Roland

    BLACK but I don't get it. Maybe someone wrote that about them. I don't get it. Why would anyone who's racist make that the name of their house.

    October 3, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Texas calm

    What all the fuss about? Perry was just trying to garner the Hip Hop crowds vote.
    Then he would have been in a position to go after those anti-Texan Mexicans....

    October 3, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Mike

    Just to clear things up with all of you anti-war folks here. You criticise wanting to help a neighbor in need so that tells me a lot about you as a person, thats just the first part. You criticise "another war at taxpayer expense" but the lack of need for soldiers means tens of thousands of more adults fighting for the same jobs you are fighting for. No, war is not nice and full of pretty flowers, but most soldiers/marines/airmen/seamen LOVE what they do; if you take that from them it would be like you losing your freedom of speach. Would you sacrifice something you love to do because a few people that have not experienced it say "war is bad" while tapping their bible (the biggest killer in history mind you)....

    October 3, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. 1rooster

    I remember when the news media made Pres. Obama disavow Pastor Jerimiah Wright for something Jerimiah Wright said to the congregation of his church back in the 80's or 90's. They made Obama the only person that heard that message responsible for it's contents. I think Rick Perry will get off easy for that most offensive thing on their property. Let's see if it stays in the media for months like Jerimiah Wright did.

    October 3, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. LV

    The accusation tells me much more about the accuser than anything else. It was a stupid PR stunt and I hope it backfires.

    October 3, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Robert Warner

    To all of you little bigots using the excuse that all Perry did was lease the land, and that he had no authority to remove the offense; who FORCED him to lease it? Any DECENT person would walk away from leasing that property while marked in such a vile manner.

    October 3, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Mammy

    Well, they couldn't very well call it "African-American Head!" That would be tacky.

    October 3, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. jus

    Hm, we don't see any Ron Paul controversy articles...Oh wait, it's because the media overlooks him and he's the most consistent politician out there and the one politician who doesn't frame his beliefs to satisfy the masses.

    October 3, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. maggie

    Perry is not ready for prime time. Thankfully, Texas does not represent the values of the rest of the country. We had enough problems with the last gunslingin cowboy.

    October 3, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. Reality Check

    There is a man named Jon Huntsman. He is running for the office of President of the United States of America. He served as governor of the state of Utah and as US Ambassador to China. He is not a total nutjob, and as best as I can tell is not a nutjob at all. It would be comforting if every once in a while you actually covered him. Now I know boring, steady, and dependable is not what sells magazines, but just give it a try.

    October 3, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Stacey

    People quickly forgot that it was the Republican Party that ended slavery and stood for racial equality and women’s rights. Just as Cain said, you all have been brainwashed into thinking that the democrats are “the good guys.”


    Your statement is irrelevant and ignorant. Republicans were the "good guys" during the Civil War up to the late 1950's. Then the republicans went ahead and adopted the "southern strategy" and turned into the racists they are today. I am not brainwashed. I vote on the issues and vote for the party that best represents what I care about. The republican party stopped caring about african-americans when they adopted that strategy to get white southern votes. Why don't you conservatives and tea partiers learn about American History and just stop blurting things based on your emotions and ideology? Herman Cain is an ignoramous who your party will use to get what they want. Mr. Cain is apparently too stupid to realize that the tea party will never vote for him.

    October 3, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. tj

    Minorities have no bussiness supporting the GOP

    October 3, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. Robert

    BeverlyNC, excellent commentary

    October 3, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Reddca

    Please build that fence...on the 49th parallel.Maybe it will help keep american guns out of cananda and it will keep high quality canadian weed on this side of the border meaning lower prices for canadians. WIN WIN!

    October 3, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9