The Big Conversation:
According to his supporters, and another new poll, Republicans are still clamoring for Rick Perry.
Politico reports that the governor — who will meet this week with officials from Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee and has two meetings planned with potential donors — seems to barely be keeping pace with supporters seeking meetings with him.
“So many people want to do these, we’ve had to add additional dates,” said Dave Carney, Perry’s chief political strategist.
According to Politico, the calls for Perry to enter the race only seem to be growing louder. One Republican congressman, Tim Griffin of Arkansas, has reportedly been pitching a Perry candidacy to members of the House. And Team Perry, which has already put feelers out in Iowa and New Hampshire, now appears to be gunning for activists in South Carolina and Florida.
Speaking of Florida, a new American Research Group poll released Monday shows Perry leading in the Sunshine State among Republican primary voters. Though within the margin of error, Perry, with 16 percent of the vote, leads U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, both in second place with 15 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin pulls 13 percent.
The Florida poll comes less than a week after two separate Republican primary polls, from CNN and Fox News, showed Perry within striking distance of Romney, who's widely considered the front-runner.
The momentum, though, hasn't kept the governor from stepping into a bit of controversy in recent days. While debate over the governor's involvement in his Aug. 6 Houston prayer event continues, Perry also raised eyebrows among some social conservatives, as the Austin American-Statesman reports, when he said Friday that from a states' rights standpoint, he was "fine" with New York's new law legalizing gay marriage.
- U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz, the former Texas solicitor general, has received the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. "Right now, an establishment Republican with enormous personal wealth is running for Senate against Ted," Paul, in a statement, said of the race's presumed front-runner, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. "I’m afraid he’d join the go-along, get-along Senate club, and we don’t need more of that in Washington. … Ted will stand for liberty, and I’m proud to stand with Ted." Though he'll likely struggle to match Dewhurst's fundraising power, Cruz has been racking up — and brandishing — endorsements from several conservative groups, including FreedomWorks PAC, Club for Growth PAC and Red State, and high-profile Republicans, like U.S. Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah.
- U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said Monday that the debt ceiling stalemate in Washington threatens the national economy but that the 11th-hour debate will prove useful in finding compromise. “No one, neither the president nor Congress, wants to be responsible for economic turmoil,” Cornyn said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “But sometimes, in a negotiation, you have to get where we are now, which is within eight days, before people start getting really serious and start agreeing to some resolution.”
- The Tribune reported Friday that the Department of Public Safety said it had "purged" certain travel records related to the cost of providing security to Gov. Rick Perry before 2008, but the department clarified on Monday that it had misreported the extent of the records destruction.
“Having grown up in Texas, I know Texans don’t want a career politician in the Senate who will compromise with Democrats to keep growing our out-of-control federal spending and debt." — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in a statement endorsing U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz
- Redistricting separates Fort Worth lawmaker Burnam from his neighbors, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Dry reservoir leaves Robert Lee with few options, unsure future, Midland Reporter-Telegram
- Perry's exclusion from straw poll could help him, Austin American-Statesman