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Pro-Bachmann PAC attacks Perry with South Carolina ad

Washington Bureau

A so-called Super PAC that supports Michele Bachmann is going after Rick Perry, suggesting that he doesn’t merit the support of the “tea party” movement.

It’s the first real attack on Perry since polls have shown him to be the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

The spot by Keep Americans United (below) has run on CNN, CNBC and Fox News in South Carolina, the group says. The early primary state is a key battleground for both Bachmann and Perry, as the chase votes from tea party activists and religious conservatives alike.

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It hammers Perry on the one area where he could be potentially vulnerable with the tea party movement: his 11-year track record as governor of Texas. The spot paints him as an executive who escalated state spending, citing a Wall Street Journal report last month that said the state offered nearly $10 billion in short-term bonds to prop up its general revenue fund. The state Legislature this year had to work to close a $27-billion budget deficit.

Perry has made his economic record as governor the centerpiece of his campaign. But while the tea party isn’t supposed to cotton to establishment types like Perry, who has held elective office in Texas since 1984, recent polls by Gallup and CNN show Perry enjoying widespread support from those who identify themselves as supporters of the movement.

Keep Americans United was formed by North Carolina conservative strategists Bob Harris and Luther Snyder. Both helped Rep. Renee Ellmers in her upset win over incumbent Bob Etheridge last fall.


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