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Perry Santorum

December 30, 2011 by staff 

Perry SantorumPerry Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn’t sure where he will finish when the caucuses end in Iowa on Tuesday, but said anything less than a win is not a victory.

“Where I come from, victory is being number one in the polls,” he said in an interview on his campaign bus. “That’s what we are striving for.”

The top spot in the GOP field has proved elusive for Perry since his August boom and subsequent bust, but Perry is undeterred.

“You look at the polls today versus 30 days ago, versus a poll on Monday and they are all different,” he said. “These people have not made their mind up yet and so anybody that says, ‘Here’s who is going to win this thing today’ – ask them for a $10,000 bet.”

“Or maybe not,” he quickly added, with a smile and a side glance to a staffer, who picked up the reference to the now infamous wager former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made to Perry during a recent GOP debate.

Perry also acknowledged he may not get past those early unforced errors made mainly during several nationally televised debates with some voters.

“You are never going to get past making an error,” he said. “I mean, I probably made one … tonight if you go back and look at the tape really closely, which I’m sure somebody will.”

His strengths, he said, lie in his governing experience and ability to revitalize the economy. “If they are looking for someone who’s got the executive governing experience in creating jobs and creating an environment where men and women can have the dignity to take care of their family, there’s not anybody on that stage that even gets close to what I’ve been a part of in the state of Texas.”

Texas’ job growth rate under Perry’s administration was one of the chief reasons Perry was initially recruited as a candidate by Republicans who were dissatisfied with the early field. Texas employment growth was 43% of the total number of jobs added to the U.S. economy from June 2009 to July 2011 – about the time Perry entered the race for the Republican nomination.

During his bus tour through Iowa that began Dec. 14, Perry’s parting pitch has been “not to settle” for “Washington or Wall Street insiders” and to instead choose an outsider like him.

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