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The Brief: July 25, 2012

A week out from election day, Gov. Rick Perry delivered perhaps his most forceful show of support yet for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Jan. 27, 2009, before Perry's State of the State address.

The Big Conversation:

A week out from election day, Gov. Rick Perry delivered perhaps his most forceful show of support yet for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

At a press conference in Houston with Dewhurst on Tuesday, Perry reiterated his endorsement of the lieutenant governor, who's facing off against Ted Cruz in a brutal U.S. Senate battle.

"I’m not a candidate, just another voter right now," Perry said. "So one voter to another, I thought I’d make one final pitch to the people of the state of Texas to support my friend, my partner and a great conservative leader in Texas, David Dewhurst."

The friendly tone receded, though, when talk turned to Cruz, whom two polls have recently shown ahead of Dewhurst.

"The idea we’re going to send someone without a record, in the case of his opponent, versus someone who has a record, to me this is pretty easy," Perry said, never mentioning Cruz by name.

Perry also delivered one of his sharpest criticisms yet of the Club for Growth, a Washington D.C.-based conservative group that has poured millions of dollars into the race on behalf of Cruz. The group "has come into Texas with no regard to the state," said the governor, who has accused the group of supporting Cruz because it wants to influence the GOP leadership battle in the Senate. (Cruz hasn't said yet whether he would endorse U.S. Sen. John Cornyn for Republican whip, while Dewhurst has.)

"It is clear to me that Club for Growth has a substantial more interest in who’s going to be the leader in the Senate, whether it’s the whip or the majority leader, etc., than they are in how Texas is doing," Perry said.

Meanwhile, as the governor again attacked outside groups for their outsize influence in the race, FreedomWorks, one such outside group, ramped up its support for Cruz. As the Houston Chronicle reports, the national Tea Party organization organized a phone banking event on Tuesday in support of Cruz, whom the group endorsed early in the race. The group is also co-sponsoring a large Tea Party event on Thursday in Dallas at which Cruz is expected to speak.

Culled:

  • The Texas Observer reported Tuesday that a Washington Post reporter may have violated ethical standards by sharing entire drafts of a story with press officials at the University of Texas at Austin before the article was published. According to emails the Observer acquired through a public information request, the reporter, Daniel de Vise, also allowed the school officials to recommend major edits to the story, which centered on standardized tests administered by colleges, including UT.
  • The controversy surrounding Rick Perry's 2007 HPV vaccine mandate has cooled since flaring during the governor's presidential run. But as the Tribune's Thanh Tan reports, the backlash over Perry's executive order didn't keep the vaccine out of state health care. In fact, Texas has been offering the shots to poor children for free since 2007, mostly with the use of federal funds. "It’s going to save tens of thousands of dollars. Can you imagine how much cervical cancer would cost the state for treatment?" one doctor said.
  • BuzzFeed, the social content and news site, on Tuesday named a David Dewhurst-supporting Super PAC's new spot attacking Ted Cruz the "nastiest ad of the campaign cycle." The ad, produced by the Texas Conservatives Fund, features a mother who ties Cruz's work for a developer involved in a corruption scandal to her son's suicide.

"I wish some of these numbnuts would go out and read the letter before they make these horrible allegations about the horrible accusations we're making." — U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, on U.S. Sen. John McCain and others for criticizing a letter Gohmert signed tying a Hillary Clinton aide to radical Islam

Must-Read:

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