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Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) tried to bring a resolution to the floor condemning Perry’s use of the camp, but it did not pass. Perry did receive a public reprieve on the issue from Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), who is black and said she had never thought of Perry as a racist.
That should be enough to cool the issue, said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas), who has expressed support for Perry.
“Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who knows Gov. Perry quite well, said she has never seen him exhibit any characteristics, behavior, language or thought process that would be considered anything other than exemplary from her perspective,” Sessions said. “I think that speaks well.”
However, Sessions’ Senate counterpart and fellow Texan, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn, said he is remaining neutral.
“I have a responsibility as chairman of the NRSC, and I don’t want to give anybody a reason why they won’t support our efforts to regain the majority,” Cornyn said.
Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, the highest-ranking Member to endorse Perry so far, said he is sticking by his choice.
“I support the man for president. I think he’d make a great president. I hope he becomes our next president,” the Texas lawmaker said.
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), who has not endorsed anyone, said he will be backing Perry and hinted that Perry might announce several Congressional endorsements at the same time.
“He’s a good, close friend, and I support him,” Johnson said. “I think he’ll turn it around.”
Rep. Kevin Brady has not been a Perry booster — he backed Hutchison in the gubernatorial primary — but he also acknowledged that Perry’s “got a lot of opportunity to turn it around.”
“Clearly his fundraising numbers are very strong, he’s got a great, compelling life story and a compelling job story in Texas,” the Lone Star State Republican said.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who endured a bumpy but ultimately successful ride to his party’s presidential nomination in 2008, said, “There are lots of ups and downs in campaigns. I found out.”