Feb. 8, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Perry Wins Over the Crowd in Bachmann Territory

Tom Williams/Roll Call
Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks with Linda Love of Cedar Falls, Iowa, at a dinner hosted by the Black Hawk County Republican Party in Waterloo, Iowa, on Sunday.

After her speech, Bachmann offered an apple pie from the local Machine Shed restaurant to the “oldest Republican mom” in the room. She hand-delivered the pie to the 100-year-old winner before tossing out her own campaign swag to the crowd.

GOP presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) was the first to address the crowd Sunday. Perry exited the room immediately after Bachmann’s speech, while the Congresswoman stuck around to sign campaign paraphernalia.

Just a week ago, the Black Hawk County Republican Party expected its fourth annual dinner to be a quiet, run-of-the-mill fundraiser.

But that all changed when Perry announced he was coming to town. An official with the local Republican Party, Judd Saul, said the group invited Bachmann to speak at the dinner six weeks ago, but she only accepted the invitation 36 hours after Perry confirmed his attendance.

Regardless, 270 buffet dinner tickets sold out within days.

Perry’s impromptu seatmates, Jim and Cecelia Mudd, did not expect to sit next to the hottest commodity in national Republican politics that evening.

“This is our maiden voyage with him. He was just being very courteous and nice,” Jim Mudd said. “Total surprise. If I had known, I would have worn a tie.”

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