Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry (left) and Mitt Romney prepare to shake hands with other candidates at the end of a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express at the Florida state fairgrounds in Tampa on Monday.
Perry’s endorsements on Capitol Hill also feed into this fundraising effort. For example, Inhofe’s endorsement came when Perry stopped in Oklahoma last month for a planned fundraiser.
But the Texas governor’s relations on Capitol Hill are still lacking — especially among his own Lone Star State delegation. Texas GOP House Members have often been at odds with Perry over federal funding issues.
Tensions between the two camps spilled over in 2010, when Hutchison challenged Perry in the GOP primary.
Every time that Perry attacked the Senator as “Kay Bailout Hutchison” in a campaign ad, the Congressional delegation took a hit, too.
The entire delegation stayed neutral or backed Hutchison’s challenge except for one Member, McCaul, who supported Perry.
Hutchison still isn’t a Perry fan. She told NBC in early August that she’s looking for a candidate with private-sector experience — an obvious hit at Perry, who’s been working in government for almost three decades.
But since Perry entered the 2012 race, aides said his relationship with the delegation has improved.
“The relationship is tempered,” one Texas Congressional aide said. “Certainly the fact that he may become president of the United States, I think a lot of these folks are being careful what they do and how they play it.”