Once again, Gov. Rick Perry's name made the rounds on the Sunday news programs. However, his star is largely overshadowed this week by fellow GOP contender Mitt Romney's narrow but substantial lead in a new Iowa poll asking likely GOP caucus-goers there who they would support for president, Rep. Michele Bachmann's pending "official" announcement, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's first week on the campaign trail.
Bachmann appeared on Fox News Sunday, where anchor Chris Wallace asked, "If Texas Gov. Rick Perry gets into this race, doesn't he overshadow you on Tea Party and social issues?" She responded by saying, "I think there's room in the race for all sorts of candidates to get in and I think this is good for the people of the country to have as many candidates get in who would like to."
Over at CNN, State of the Union moderator Candy Crowley asked conservative U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, whether he could support a Perry candidacy. DeMint said he does not "know that much" about Perry, but "he seems bold." The key to getting his endorsement, he told Crowley, is to oppose raising the federal government's debt ceiling and to support a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. DeMint revealed GOP candidates have been seeking meetings with him on this topic, but he didn't mention any specific names.
The most buzz over Perry ccurred on ABC's This Week. One of their regular roundtable analysts, George Will, wrote this biographical column on Texas' governor on Sunday. Will called Perry "the missing piece" in the Iowa debate before telling viewers he saw Perry last week and "came away with a definite, 'Maybe'" on whether he'd really enter the race. "Iowa is made for a showdown between Rick Perry, who has Texas job creation to match Romney, and he has Michele Bachmann's rapport with evangelical Christians who are 63 percent of the participants in the Iowa caucuses," he said. Democratic analyst Anita Dunn said Perry and Bachmann clearly have the "energy" primary votes are looking for, but she criticized their ability to appeal to mainstream voters.
On NBC's Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory promoted a discussion about Perry's prospects, but the panelists chose to direct their analysis at Romney, Huntsman and Bachmann. The New York Times Magazine writer Matt Bai ended the show by reminding the group it's only June 2011. "It's super early and a lot of money is still on the sidelines," he said.
Note: Texas Congressman Ron Paul's name was not mentioned on any of the programs, but he is polling at 7 percent in The Des Moines Register's Iowa caucus poll, putting him in fourth place behind Romney, Bachmann, and Herman Cain. He is tied with Newt Gingrich and ahead of Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman.
CBS' Face the Nation and PBS' Washington Week did not discuss Perry or Paul.
Watch our latest compilation of the Perry presidential buzz featured on the Sunday news shows below.
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