Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor and Ambassador to China, has struggled to win over Republican voters, but three of his daughters, the eldest of Huntsman's seven children, have become minor celebrities on Twitter and YouTube. Under the handle @Jon2012girls, Liddy, Abby, and Mary Anne Huntsman tweet campaign updates ("Great showing at Dad's townhall this morning in Laconia, NH"); acid put-downs ("How does Romney know anything about China? He's only been there once and that was for the Olympics. Panda Express doesn't count"); and goofy humor (a pre-Halloween picture of Abby's body next to Liddy's head with the caption "We'll officially 'beheading' to the Granite state this weekend!").
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) "”Sarah Palin told Republican donors Thursday that Occupy Wall Street protesters want the same thing as the "fat cats" they're upset with - a government bailout.Palin criticized the protesters as believing they're entitled to other people's productivity and money and said they've drawn the wrong conclusions. Instead, the former Alaska governor said people should look to the tea party."They say 'Wall Street fat cats got a bailout so now I want one too.' And the correct answer is no one is entitled to a...
For months, Rep. Paul Ryan has been watching the GOP presidential primary. As candidates have outlined tax reforms and championed growth, he’s cheered. On the fiscal front, however, he has heard little from leading contenders. Privately, he’s grumbled about the lack of specifics.
But after recent conversations with Romney and reading his latest USA Today op-ed, Ryan is enthused. The former Massachusetts governor supports a defined-contribution model for Medicare — in which beneficiaries are allowed to choose their own plans — the keystone of the budget passed by House Republicans. “It shows we’re all singing from the same hymnal,” he says.
Keep reading this post . . .
Jon Corzine appears to have committed more than a few sins in the runup to the demise of MF Global, including possibly using client money to pay for the risky trades that forced his brokerage firm into bankruptcy over the weekend. But possibly his biggest sin was his steadfast belief in the power of government.The former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs chief executive went wrong by assuming that a government bailout would somehow turn his firm’s bet on some of the worst investments in the world -- the sovereign debt of Italy and Spain -- into gold. That absurd faith has doomed...
Time is so elusive. It's hard to remember when my journalism students and I weren't reporting about Hank Skinner's case. That's partly because it's been more than a decade, our oldest active case. When we first heard about Skinner's plight, George W. Bush was still governor of Texas.
We got involved sometime in 2000, when I got a call from Bryson Hull, an AP reporter in Houston. (I'm fairly certain it was early spring because the Chicago Cubs were beginning what would prove to be their 92nd season of futility. That's another way to mark time.) Hull told me about a Texas condemned man who steadfastly professed his innocence. His name was Henry Watkins Skinner, but he insisted on being called "Hank."
I distinctly recall reading the official record in Hank Skinner's case and wondering why significant crime scene evidence -- the murder weapons, the rape kit, a blood-stained windbreaker -- had not been scientifically tested. I also recall asking my journalism students, who were preoccupied with other reporting projects, if they wanted to interview Skinner on Texas' death row to see if he'd agree to DNA testing. Their reply: Road trip!
At some point, the students reported that Skinner was eager to have the tests performed. Later, the State's star witness told the students she had lied at Skinner's trial and other witnesses had good reason to believe the female victim's late uncle had committed the crime. The bloodied windbreaker looked like the uncle's, a witness said. DNA testing might determine whether it was his.
In 2010, six of the Skinner jurors told a new group of students that his life should be spared unless tests on the remaining evidence prove his guilt.
Another year passed. Still no tests.
Now the clock is ticking on Hank Skinner's life. A Texas judge has ordered him executed on Nov. 9, less than a week from today. He would be executed even though the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year gave him the right to sue for access to the crime scene evidence. Executed even though that lawsuit is presently before a federal magistrate. Executed despite a new Texas statute that guarantees post-conviction DNA testing.
Texas officials argue that Skinner had plenty of time to ask for the tests -- before his trial in 1995. Now it's too late, they say.
Seriously? When is it ever too late to learn the truth? If Skinner is guilty, the tests should prove it. If he's innocent, the tests should prevent Texas from making a fatal mistake.
Skinner, 49, has been on death row for sixteen years, six years longer than the life expectancy of the men who reside in the Allan B. Polunsky Condemned Unit. For most of that time, Texas law enforcement has endlessly fought DNA testing, litigating the case at taxpayer's expense.
Now they're counting on a Texas judge to reject a stay and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to side with the judge. That would leave the case in the hands of Gov. Rick Perry, who has the power to order a 30-day reprieve while the tests are done -- paid for by the defense.
Gov. Perry seems to have his own problems lately. Why add the execution of a possibly innocent man to the list?
Show the world, Governor, that the perception of you is wrong -- that you aren't a cowboy who endorses executions at any cost. Make the Skinner case a turning point in your career. Do what your predecessor, George W. Bush, did in a death row case with untested evidence. "Any time DNA evidence can be relevant as to the guilt or innocence of a person on death row, we need to use it," Bush declared in ordering a reprieve.
Stop the execution, Governor, and support DNA testing for Hank Skinner.
It's about time.
Keeping You Posted:
As expected, Texas Judge Steven R. Emmert has denied Hank Skinner's request for DNA testing under the new state law that provides for such tests in exactly these circumstances. The judge's opinion was one sentence long. It contained no reason for the denial and cited no cases -- not even the relevant state law. Skinner's lawyers will appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Meanwhile, his supporters have begun their own appeal -- to Gov. Rick Perry. The on-line petition to the governor may be found at http://www.change.org/petitions/withdraw-execution-warrant-and-grant-dna-testing-to-hank-skinner-2
GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry blasted rival Mitt Romney during a Wednesday night appearance on Fox News' "Hannity."
When Sean Hannity asked Perry what he thought of Romney, Perry responded, "He's my competitor. I mean it's like, you know, I would think that, you know, who ever I'm competing against, I'm going to try to beat him. And I'm going to bring up the truth and talk about it." The Texas Governor reiterated his characterization of Romney as a flip-flopper. "The issue is, you know, he changes his positions," explained Perry. He continued, "You know, Americans want a consistent president. You may not agree with him on everything, but don't change your positions by whatever office you're running for."
Romney is punching back at Perry's criticisms. On Tuesday, the former Massachusetts governor released an ad targeting Perry entitled "Governor Perry: An Inspiration To Liberal California":
In the ad, Perry, who is fundraising in California today, is seen across from the state's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, while a number of positions that "liberals in California" supposedly got from Perry flash across the screen.
Perry was the "first to give in-state tuition to illegal immigrants" and "approved taxpayer-funded state aid for illegal immigrants attending college," the ad charges, referencing some of the provisions that Perry signed in the Texas DREAM Act.
Brown signed measures of the California DREAM Act earlier this year, first making funding from private sources available to undocumented students, then allowing them to apply for state-funded financial aid for college.
During the interview with Hannity, Perry stated, "As the president of the United States, I am against the Dream Act." He also pledged that "When I'm the president, that border will be secure."
In addition to the flip-flopper charge, Perry repeated another attack line during the interview, going after Romney for using a lawn care company that employed undocumented workers. "I do think it was very, you know, bad policy and bad politics for him to hire illegal aliens, and then talk to me who has done more to deal with this issue than anybody on that stage," said Perry.
Perry criticized his own debate performances during the interview, saying, "Frankly I didn't have time to prepare for those debates. Obviously it showed." He also stated, "I hate debates." Perry elaborated with some harsh words about President Obama. "We got a great debater in the White House. A slick politician and our country is really paying a great price for that," said Perry.
Fellow competitor and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain also came up during Perry's exchange with Hannity. Perry explained, "I think Herman Cain is a very likeable individual in a personal way."
Perry's description of Cain contrasts with the ongoing war of words currently raging between the two campaigns. The Cain campaign accused Curt Anderson, a Perry adviser who had previously worked on an unsuccessful 2004 Cain Senate bid, of leaking details that led to a Politico story about sexual harassment allegations leveled at Cain. Anderson denied the charge. Mark Block, Cain's Chief of Staff, appeared on Fox News Wednesday night and stated, "The actions of the Perry campaign are despicable." Block also said he "absolutely" believes that Perry's camp was behind the leak that led to the initial Politico story. The Perry campaign accused Cain and Block of "reckless and false" behavior.
Among modern presidential candidates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's jewelry is in a class by itself.
As he maneuvers through roiling Republican primary waters, the Texas governor is armed with two big chunks of gold that crowd his left ring finger, flashy cuff links on monogrammed cuffs, a bold chronograph watch and an ever present lapel pin that eschews Old Glory in favor of a more, shall we say, adolescent loyalty: the Boy Scouts.
But Perry wasn't always like this. Prior to 2004, he wore even more jewelry than he does now, including, at times, a gold bracelet, a rubber sports bracelet and a "Wild West sheriff" pin.
So how much "bling" is too much for a would-be president? Check out the slideshow below to decide for yourself.
As a Washington-based professional stylist, and one half of the Fashion Whip, I often field questions from male clients in politics about how to express their personal style without distracting voters from their message. Most of my clients would hesitate, wisely, I believe, to wear a "good" watch to a town hall meeting.
But not Rick Perry. A proud alumnus of Texas A&M University, Perry is never without his huge gold "Aggie" ring. The one he wears today isn't his original ring, however. He lost the first one, and replaced it this year with a "brand spanking new ring" that he shows off in this video.
Soon after Perry won a second gubernatorial term in 2006, he started wearing his Aggie ring on his left hand after decades of wearing it on his right. These days, the ring rests on top of his thick gold wedding band, and the combined baubles reach to his knuckle and overload his hand. It's unclear what prompted the right-handed Perry to move all his rings to his left, but the shift coincided with his rise to national prominence. Perhaps he anticipated the need for a jewelry-free handshake in Iowa and New Hampshire?
Whatever the reason, Perry's rings are only one part of a broader jewelry evolution that began around 2003, when the newly elected governor ditched his leather watch and gold "fishing-lure" bracelet in favor of a more serious, and expensive looking, steel chronograph. Around the same time, Perry discovered monogrammed, French cuffed shirts, and today he wears them religiously, paired with big gold and silver cuff-links that compete for attention with his rings. Custom-made ostrich-skin cowboy boots often complete the look.
For a self-proclaimed Texas country boy, Perry's jewelry looks a lot like that of a powerful, wealthy big-timer.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who has vowed to fight the new federal health care law, sent back a $31.5 million federal grant to start modernizing computer systems. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says the governor is betting that the new health law will be repealed — and she worries it's not sound policy.
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) announced Tuesday that he would seek a full term in the governor's office in the 2012 election.
Dalrymple succeeded to the office last year after former Gov. John Hoeven (R) resigned to become a U.S. senator. Dalrymple, a former state legislator from Fargo, served as Hoeven's lieutenant governor for a decade before taking the governorship. The Minot Daily News reported that Dalrymple cited the state's economic history as part of his rationale for seeking a full term.
Dalrymple also stressed his desire to continue the state's successes.
"I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished here in North Dakota. We are making tremendous progress. Working together, we have created thousands of good jobs, reduced property and income taxes and built up our reserves. Today there are more new opportunities than ever before," he said.
About 17,000 available jobs exist across the state, and personal income is growing at double the national average, he said.
North Dakota's economy has been the fastest-growing in any of the 50 states, at times growing faster than the national economy in recent years. This has included an oil and gas boom in the state, which has led to a surplus in the state budget.
Dalrymple's announcement came the same day that state Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer (R) formed a campaign committee to raise funds for North Dakota's lone congressional seat. Rep. Rick Berg (R) is not seeking a second term in favor of running for an open U.S. Senate seat. Cramer is looking to oppose fellow Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk in a Republican congressional primary. Kalk had been seeking the Senate seat before Berg announced his plans in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D).
The Bismarck Tribune reported that Cramer has previously lost three congressional races and has not made a final decision on 2012.
Cramer said Monday he filed the paperwork needed to raise campaign money so that he would be ready to accept contributions if he decided to run.
"It's quite easy to file a committee, and I thought I'd get that done," Cramer said. "I'm just prepared, just in case."
On the Democratic side, state Sen. Ryan Taylor of Towner has indicated he is considering a bid for the governorship. Former state Rep. Pam Gulleson (D-Rutland) is the only Democrat to enter the congressional race, after former state. Rep. Ben Vig (D-Aneta) announced this summer that he would not seek the seat.
The Cook Political Report has rated the governor's race as "safe Republican" while rating the congressional race as "likely Republican."
Looking back on the events of 2011, who do you think has more regrets for his bad decisions, Hosni Mubarak or former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty?
I guess you have to give it to Mubarak. After all, the guy gave up a cushy gig ruling Egypt just so he could be (justifiably) prosecuted from a sickbed while his cronies retained power.
Keep reading this post . . .
WASHINGTON -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer may call the state Legislature into a special session as soon as Tuesday to impeach one or more members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.
In a Saturday letter to Collen Mathis, chair of the commission, Brewer expressed her concerns over the proposed redistricting map. The Republican governor wrote that the draft map "does a disservice to Arizona because it fails to recognize the important and distinct rural population in Arizona and the respective communities of interest."
Brewer criticized the level of emphasis on creating competitive districts. "I believe the [commission] also violated the Arizona Constitution by elevating 'competitiveness' above the other goals, especially in relation to the proposed District 9 and the other districts in Maricopa County," she wrote.
Arizona picked up one seat in Congress following the 2010 Census, giving it nine congressional districts. The commission drew a map in which four districts are heavily Republican, two are heavily Democratic, and three are competitive. Currently, there are five Republicans and three Democrats in Arizona's congressional delegation.
The potential loss of Republican seats also arises in the redrawing of state senate districts. Twenty-one of the 30 seats are now considered safe for Republicans, a number that would be lowered to 17 under redistricting.
The Arizona Constitution allows the removal of a redistricting commissioner by the request of the governor and two-thirds consent of the state senate for "substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct of office, or inability to discharge the duties of office."
Jose Herrera, vice chair and one of two Democrats on the five-member commission, responded to Brewer's claim that they have acted improperly.
"This commission has fully studied and complied with each of the unique constitutional mandates applicable to the commission," Herrera wrote in a letter to the governor. "[The commission] has prepared in good faith and put forth for public comment draft maps that are fully compliant with Constitutional requirements."
Stu Robinson, public information officer for the commission, told The Huffington Post, "Whatever you think of what they've done, to say that it amounts to a 'substantial neglect of duty' or 'gross misconduct in office' is a bit of a stretch."
The Arizona Democratic Party sent out a press release calling the accusations partisan overreach and criticizing Brewer for getting involved. "Governor Brewer's power grab is a clear abuse of the powers of her office," said Andrei Cherny, party chair, in a statement. "The voters created the Independent Redistricting Commission to keep politicians away from these decisions and so people could have a voice. The volunteer commissioners have drawn maps with bipartisan support that make small steps in giving independents more of a say. Their only crime is not kowtowing to Republican leaders."
An attorney for the commission, Mary O'Grady, vowed to sue Brewer if she tried to impeach the commissioners. In a letter to the governor, O'Grady wrote, "The commission itself is a constitutional entity charged to do a difficult, controversial job independent of the state's political structure. Its independence must be respected and defended."
According to David Schapira, the Arizona state senate's minority leader and a Democrat, the governor may not have the constitutional power to call a special session of the state Legislature at the moment. Brewer is in New York, he said, and she must be present in the state to make such a call.
Brewer's office did not immediately return a request for comment.
The allegedly bluest of blue states is like the Gobi Desert for female statewide candidates.
No woman has ever been elected governor of Massachusetts. Jane Swift held the post as acting governor in 2001, but only after Paul Cellucci resigned. She was quickly dumped by the Mass. GOP when Mitt Romney said he wanted the job; Swift was put out on the doorstep with the trash.
When Lt. Governor Evelyn Murphy ran for governor in 1990, pictures were published of her jogging, and much discussion ensued about her thighs. She had a fine record and wonderful policy papers. Do quads really matter in politics? Apparently, if they belong to a woman.
No woman has ever been elected senator from the Bay State. Martha Coakley was supposed to be a shoo-in for Ted Kennedy's seat, but Scott Brown showed up with his pickup truck, great looks and friendly demeanor. Coakley, a sharp prosecutor and the state's attorney general, ran a lackluster campaign. The voters apparently thought she'd rather slap cuffs on their hands then shake them.
But many Democratic women have taken heart from Elizabeth Warren's campaign. (Remember, Massachusetts was the state that hung with Hillary in the Democratic primaries when everybody else was totally smitten with Barack.)
This time, maybe it's a woman, not a guy, who comes riding in on the white charger, and for a lot of women that's a nice change. So many times, just when it seems a woman is about to reach the finish line, out of nowhere comes the white knight who scoops up the prize.
Warren is the real deal. She's riding in with top notch -- credentials. Nobody can say people are backing her just because they want a woman, and so they'll just overlook her rÃ©sumÃ©.
Come to think of it, this was what the women's movement was all about: no special pleading, no chivalry; just the chance to stand toe-to toe with the big (male) dogs to slug it out. For so long, women couldn't get to that point, because they couldn't get the degrees, the mentoring, the good first jobs, or the promotions that would move them up the line.
Elizabeth Warren didn't emerge, like Athena, fully formed and armed to the teeth, from the head of Zeus. If she wins the senate seat, Mass Dems may indeed think of her as a goddess, but she did it the hard way.
Her father was a janitor, and when he had a heart attack, she got a job as a waitress to help keep the family going. It's the kind of Horatio Alger story Americans love, but this time, Horatio (sometimes) wears high heels.
The noted scholar of mythology, Joseph Campbell, who writes about the hero's journey, once commented that women couldn't have a quest -- they were simply meant to be the object of the male quest, "In the whole mythological tradition the woman is there. All she has to do is realize that she's the place that people are trying to get to. When a woman realizes what her wonderful character is, she's not going to get messed up with the notion of being pseudo-male."
In that line, women hear echoes of "penis envy," "ballbreaker," "bitch," and a whole vocabulary list of words that tell women to stay in their place. And that place certainly isn't politics.
But Warren's journey does indeed fit the Campbell model. She traveled from what she calls the "ragged edge" of the middle class to the ivied walls of Harvard. One good thing about her, from a political observer's point of view, is that she brings as much Oklahoma as Harvard Square to her persona. As the New York Times rhapsodized:
"Ms. Warren talks about the nation's growing income inequality in a way that channels the force of the Occupy Wall Street movement but makes it palatable and understandable to a far wider swath of voters. She is provocative and assertive in her critique of corporate power and the well-paid lobbyists who protect it in Washington, and eloquent in her defense of an eroding middle class."
On her Website, Warren says, in a no-nonsense style:
"Middle class families have been chipped at, at hacked at, squeezed at, hammered for a generation, and I didn't think Washington gets it. I'm going to do this. I'm going to run for the United States senate and the reason is straight forward...I grew up on the ragged edge of the middle class and I know it's hard out there. I fought all my life for working families and I've stood up to some pretty powerful interests."
That may sound like the political spin of the moment, but she's got the deeds to back up the words.
Here's another Campbellian touch. Like Athena, she's a warrior. But while the Greek goddess hurled a war cry at the heavens, Warren spoke to Congress in measured terms. She was effective as the point woman in arguing the case for the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. So effective, in fact, that Barack Obama thought he couldn't appoint her to head the agency she basically created because she'd been so tough. (I wish he'd just have said, "Screw it, she's my choice, and if you don't like it, you can shove your opinions up your keester!" But that's another conversation.)
Warren will have a tough opponent in Scott Brown, who is handsome, likeable, and moderate (for a Republican.) He's no dummy. He romanced the Tea Party for a while but scratched them from his dance card once he got elected. Right wing lunacy doesn't fly in Massachusetts.
But this time, it's the woman, not the guy, who has the experience and the rÃ©sumÃ©, and, by the way, is no slouch in the cojones department.
It's been a long dry spell, but at long last, Massachusetts Democratic women think they have a winner.
Boston University professor Caryl Rivers is the co-author, with Dr. Rosalind Barnett, of The Truth About Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes About Our Children (Columbia University Press)
KANKAKEE, Ill. — U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is predicting he'll be "vindicated" by an ethics investigation into whether he or someone on his behalf offered to raise funds for ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in return for an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.
"Let me be clear. I believe in the American system of justice," Jackson, a Democrat, said Saturday at a Kankakee County NAACP dinner. "The process is continuing, but in the end I believe I will be vindicated."
The House Ethics Committee announced earlier this month that it would resume a probe that began before Blagojevich's trial. The panel had agreed to abide by a Justice Department request to take no action in the investigation, which is normal practice when the department is concerned a congressional inquiry interferes with its own investigation.
Jackson, who has not been charged, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
The congressman has acknowledged he was "Senate Candidate A" in the Blagojevich criminal complaint, one of several candidates whom authorities say the former governor considered for the Senate seat.
In June, jurors at Blagojevich's retrial convicted him on 17 of 20 corruption counts, including trying to sell the Senate seat. He is awaiting sentencing. Related charges against his brother, Robert Blagojevich, were dropped after the first corruption trial last year.
Last week the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Robert Blagojevich, a Tennessee businessman, wants to testify before the House committee. He told the newspaper that he had written to committee members offering testimony and that Jackson needs to answer questions.
Trial witnesses have alleged Jackson supporters offered fundraising for the governor if Jackson became senator. Jackson testified at Blagojevich's retrial that he "never directed anyone to raise money for another politician."
Jackson is seeking re-election in the newly-drawn 2nd Congressional District.
Republican candidates for president have been busy for weeks now, laboring strenuously to give the 2012 nomination to Mitt Romney. And he keeps trying to give it back.The former Massachusetts governor could walk to next year's GOP convention without touching the ground, treading exclusively on the bodies of rivals who have fallen on their faces. He's the equivalent of the Alabama Crimson Tide, playing a schedule heavy on Southeastern Louisiana and Middle Tennessee State.He should be running up the score every week. Instead, he keeps finding ways to keep his opponents in the...
WASHINGTON — Rick Perry plans to participate in at least five more presidential primary debates, his campaign said Saturday, dismissing speculation that the Texas governor's lackluster performances so far would lead him to skip future Republican debates.
Perry, who has struggled through parts of his first five debates, will attend all of the events currently scheduled in November as well as a December debate, his spokesman, Ray Sullivan, told The Associated Press.
The decision comes after questions over whether Perry would bypass some debates to concentrate on other types of campaigning. He has always conceded he is not a strong debater, and has often avoided the sparring matches in his past campaigns.
But he's not giving up.
"Shoot, I may get to be a good debater before this is all over," Perry joked during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Friday.
Perry had already committed to a Nov. 9 debate in Michigan. Added to the calendar are debates in South Carolina on Nov. 12; Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15; and Arizona on Dec. 1. He'll also attend an Iowa forum hosted by The Family Leader, a socially conservative group, on Nov. 19.
Sullivan said the campaign will make decisions about future debates on a case-by-case basis.
Perry rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, hasn't committed to any debates beyond the Nov. 9 event in Michigan. Romney's campaign didn't immediately say whether he, too, would commit to further debates.
WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry raised some eyebrows Friday night with a speech performance in Manchester, N.H., that was unusually expressive.
A Huffington Post reporter was in the audience for the speech but did not have a chance to review video footage of the Texas governor's remarks until Saturday afternoon when a montage of moments in the speech surfaced on YouTube.
The video below is not a full version of his remarks. It is a carefully edited montage designed to highlight the giddiest and strangest moments of a roughly 25-minute speech. The owner of the YouTube account, CharlieJohnson1986, did not respond to a message sent to the account.
But while the video is designed to make Perry look bad, it does capture elements of his speech that were widely remarked upon in the crowd by those who saw the speech.
"It was different," Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas told HuffPost after the speech.
A Perry spokesman did not respond to an e-mail Friday night inquiring about Perry's manner, and initially declined to comment on Saturday.
Update at 9:25 p.m.:
"The Governor is passionate about the issues he talks about," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said in an email to HuffPost on Saturday night.
This article has been changed to remove a reference unrelated to the event. It has also been updated to reflect that Rick Perry's spokesman declined to comment Saturday. Mark Miner later offered comment.