Rick Perry admits he’s preparing to possibly run for president, even if Iowans haven’t forgotten his forgetfulness.
And at the Iowa State Fair today, the Texas governor couldn’t walk 10 feet without someone gunning for his attention.
On the sidewalk by the Dippin’ Dots vendor, a young guy wanted an autograph on his copy of Perry’s book, “Fed Up,” published in 2010.
At the next booth over, Lemonade Shakeup stand, Pella resident Teresa Hovell said: “Mr. Perry! Mr. Perry. This is my son, Brody. He’s learning to be a good conservative American.” After Perry said a few words to the 10-year-old boy, Hovell added: “You have our vote in 2016.”
Mackenzie Goodyk and her parents stopped Perry in front of the next food booth over, a cheese curds stand. Perry shook the girl’s hand and continued to grip it as he chatted with her family.
“I can’t feel my fingers,” said Mackenzie, age 10.
“Oh, my gosh, I had a hold of you, didn’t I?” said Perry, who is on the fourth day of a four-day Iowa swing, connecting with every-day Iowans and key GOP activists who will influence the outcome of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses in 2016.
Texas Governor Rick Perry stood on the Des Moines Register’s Soapbox to extol limited government and economic freedom at the Iowa State Fair.
By Leimon’s Pizza, Jason Mikesell of Urbandale had glossy printed photos of himself with Perry from a previous encounter, and a marker for the governor to sign them with.
When The Des Moines Register asked Perry if Iowans will see a lot of him, he answered, yes, between now and November. After the election, he’ll take a break, he said.
Perry seemed pumped up after his enthusiastic, heckle-free reception at the Register’s Soapbox. When the Register’s moderator thanked him as he came off the stage, Perry said: “You’re welcome. I’m awesome!”
Perry paused near the Republican Party of Iowa’s booth to take reporter questions, including one about how he seems to be doing things differently this time.
“Ya think?” Perry answered with a grin.
During the 2012 presidential campaign season, Perry descended on the Iowa scene with much fanfare only to see his stock drop as he experienced verbal stumbles. The most famous one, during a national debate, was his inability to remember all three federal agencies he wanted to shutter.
Perry today called that experience humbling and frustrating. “I’m not saying it was necessarily bad. Life is about having experiences,” he said.
If he does run again, he’ll “be prepared, physically, mentally and intellectually. … As late as this morning, I had a rather in-depth briefing on what’s going on in Kurdistan.”
Dozens of veterans made their way through the congested fairgrounds to see Perry, who wore a black golf-style shirt with a “Wounded Warrior Project” emblem. At a barbecue competition on the Grand Concourse, Perry bumped into Chris Soules from the television show “The Bachelorette” and later tweeted that he “enjoyed” meeting the Iowan.
Perry paused to watch a hawker selling cordless cellphone battery chargers, pressed on a mattress on display in the Varied Industries Building, and last but not least, tried some fair food: chicken strips, fries, lemonade and country-fried bacon.
“Forty-seven dollars!” said the staffer who stayed behind to pay for the food.
Perry circulated among the reporters, sharing his bacon. “Don’t be a fool. Take some,” he said. And then he searched for some napkins. “Don’t lick your fingers in public,” he said to no one in particular.