Rick Perry: Trump Supporters Are ‘Having Second Thoughts’
Hardcore Donald Trump fans are “having second thoughts” about the GOP front-runner following a flurry of setbacks, former Texas Governor Rick Perry has claimed.
Perry argued on Friday that Trump’s outrageous statements on abortion, the arrest of his campaign manager and poor numbers in Wisconsin have forced long-time backers to seriously rethink the real estate mogul’s ability to serve as president.
Perry, a former presidential hopeful himself, also said he thinks Trump “doesn’t care” about the issues that are important to women – which will ultimately hurt his chances in upcoming primaries.
“I don’t know how he gets himself out of that hole,” Perry told Martha MacCallum on America’s Newsroom. “I mean, even if he stops digging, it’s so deep that I think most voters out there are like, ‘is this person really thoughtful enough, is he mature enough, does he really care enough to learn the issues?’ Real questions are starting to come up about Donald Trump and his preparedness to be president of the United States.”
This has undeniably been the most challenging week of Donald Trump’s tumultuous campaign thus far.
On Tuesday, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was arrested after allegedly assaulting a female reporter. Trump went on to wholeheartedly defended Lewandowski, and simultaneously backed away from his previous pledge to support whoever wins the GOP nomination this summer.
Yet that crisis was completely eclipsed by a horrendous interview Trump delivered on MSNBC Wednesday, in which he stated flatly that women who seek abortions should suffer legal punishment for their actions.
Trump immediately flip-flopped on the issue and delivered a carefully worded statement online declaring that women should actually not be punished for seeking an abortion – but the damage had already been done. Trump was immediately hit with a merciless flurry of global condemnation for the interview.
Thursday wasn’t terribly kind to the GOP front-runner, either. Fresh polls revealed that he is now trailing to Ted Cruz in Wisconsin, despite spending a lot of time and money on the impending primary.
According to Rick Perry, Trump’s awful week has proven to supporters that the reality TV star is “not prepared” to take up residence in the White House.
“He either, he doesn’t care about these issues or, I don’t think he is lazy,” Perry said. “I think he is a hard-working fellow, but maybe he doesn’t think he has to go study and know these issues.”
The former Texas Governor also poked holes in Trump’s attempts to beef up his band of advisors. Trump was said to have met with members of his foreign policy team and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in Washington on Thursday for a set of emergency briefings on a wide array of campaign issues.
“At the end of the day, I think people who were for Donald Trump six months ago are really rethinking this, women in particular,” Perry said. “They’re seeing some things come out of his mouth that are really horrendous when it comes to women and, you know, whether it is foreign policy or whether it is social issues, real concerns, I think a lot of those people are having second thoughts about Donald Trump now.”
After backing out of the 2016 GOP race, Perry went on to endorse Texas Senator Ted Cruz for president. According to Perry, Cruz is now “the obvious place” for disenfranchised Trump supporters to go.
At present, Trump is poised to lose in Wisconsin on Tuesday, where he’s trailing Cruz by nearly four points. That being said, the numbers are certainly in Trump’s favor nationwide. The real estate mogul’s edge over Cruz has certainly slipped in recent weeks, but he’s still sitting pretty with a 10.4 percent lead.
Trump currently holds 736 delegates to Cruz’s 463. A minimum of 1,237 delegates are needed in order to capture the GOP nomination this summer.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]