Gov. Rick Perry, still bedeviled by critics, may be looking to turn the conversation back to the economy, but he has yet to unveil a detailed plan on how to get America working again.
Perry's policy plans, or lack thereof, were on display in the last Republican debate in Orlando, Fla., especially when Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked Perry exactly how he would create jobs.
"Well, you'll see a more extensive jobs plan, but the fact of the matter is you look at the state of Texas and see what we've done there," Perry said.
Audio: Ben Philpott's story for KUT News
Mitt Romney has a 59-point jobs plan. Newly energized candidate Herman Cain has released details on how he'd overhaul the nation’s tax system.
Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson says the longer Perry waits, the more he stands to lose.
“At some point he's got to move from the sort of bumper-sticker ideological generalities that have worked in Texas to the kinds of in-depth, paragraph-length explanations of complicated issues that people expect of a presidential candidate," Jillson said.
Perry isn’t the only one who hasn’t presented specific details on jobs or any other policy plans. Most of the candidates just have three or four paragraphs up on a website explaining their ideas on any given topic. But considering Perry’s most recent debate performances, coming armed to next week's debate in New Hampshire with specifics might help silence some of the governor's critics.
Even so, Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak said, it’s not smart to rush to release an unfinished plan. And now that the campaign's first major fundraising reporting deadline has passed, Perry has more time to work on the details.
"They can now turn to really spending time doing debate preparation, really spending time in the early states campaigning, really spending time unveiling policy proposals,” Mackowiak said.
The Perry campaign says it has a timeline for releasing detailed policy papers but won’t reveal specifics.
"More detailed policy proposals are going to be made at the appropriate time,” said campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. “As far as the upcoming debate is concerned, the governor is looking forward to it. He's going to be talking about his record in Texas, his successful record of creating jobs."
Jillson said the Lusitania had a timeline, too, and that when the ship starts to sink, you might want to consider changing plans instead of plowing ahead and expecting to get to port on time.
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