Dewhurst was campaigning with Perry in Iowa when Perry mentioned the Senate, which “David soon will be a Member of, Lord willing.”
As president, Perry discussed repealing health care reform and said, “You can be the co-sponsor in the Senate, David.”
How powerful Perry’s support is at this point in the cycle in Texas is an open question. Coming off Perry’s clobbering of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) in the 2010 gubernatorial race and into the first months of his presidential campaign, both Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R) eagerly aligned themselves with him.
Dewhurst tied himself to Perry in a Web video announcing his Senate candidacy in July, just before Perry officially became a candidate for president.
Cruz was also early and effusive in “proudly and enthusiastically” supporting Perry in August. Cruz reiterated his praise of Perry in an early October interview with Roll Call.
Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert has yet to endorse in the presidential contest. The other notable candidate in the state’s GOP Senate race is former ESPN analyst Craig James, who has only been in the mix for a few weeks.
Since Perry has come under national exposure, there is some discussion in Texas political circles that the Perry brand is tarnished. One nonaligned Republican strategist brought up “Perry’s oops” to Roll Call and said, “In my opinion, most Texans are embarrassed that happened.”
A Republican in Austin said Perry’s support helps Dewhurst. “I think overall it helps, because it will convince some of the die-hard conservative activists who might be on the fence to support Perry.”
Dewhurst is part of a Texas legion campaigning for Perry in Iowa leading up to tonight’s Iowa caucuses. A Texas political insider noted Perry’s extensive use of state appointments as a draw for this support. “Why? Because the governor will remember who wasn’t there if and when he exits the presidential campaign.”
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.