Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison are together again, politically speaking. Hutchison told a crowd of Republican women in a packed ballroom at the downtown Dallas Hyatt that she's backing Perry for governor and that they should, too.
"Governor, I had hoped that you would be introducing me today," Hutchison joked. She called Perry "the personification of Texas," and said that her former primary foe "is the governor who will keep Texas on the right path in 2010." She said Perry has a proven track record, especially with the state entering a rough financial patch. "It will require tough decisions to balance our budget and Rick Perry is the person to do it," she told the Texas Federation of Republican Women.
Perry, a Texas A&M grad, called his recent rival "the epitome of graciousness" and compared the battle to a collegiate rivalry. "I love my friends from the University of Texas, except on Thanksgiving [when the teams traditionally face each other in football]," he said. "Kay and I just had about a six-month Thanksgiving."
The endorsement was Hutchison's only scheduled appearance at the Republican Party's state convention. And the TFRW is a more friendly audience for her than the full convention might have been.
Neither Hutchison nor Perry took questions after their appearances. Hutchison was leaving town for Washington right after the appearance; Perry will speak to the full convention later today.