Presidential races

Romney keeps fire trained on Perry, stays silent on front-runner Cain

Despite Herman Cain’s front-runner status and rough week in the news, Mitt Romney has continued to ignore the Georgia businessman and train his fire on Rick Perry, who trails Cain in polls for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

It is the latest sign that Romney is much more concerned about Perry’s millions in cash than Cain’s rapid rise.

Romney’s campaign sent out a news release Friday morning touting “Rick Perry’s tough week,” hitting the Texas governor on his rhetoric and views.

{mosads}“On issues from tax policy to Social Security to immigration, Governor Perry showed this week why his message is not resonating,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in the release. “He has proposed a tax increase for millions of American households, lifted President Obama’s exact words in mocking a border fence, and tossed aside his pledge to stand by ‘every word’ in his book. As Rick Perry gets more desperate, it is increasingly clear that he will say and do anything to get elected.”

This follows another campaign release from earlier this week titled “Rick Perry: Wrong for Iowa.”

Romney has largely ignored Cain, a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Since pointedly questioning Cain’s tax policies in the last debate more than two weeks ago, Romney’s campaign has been radio-silent on Cain, refusing to give him any public attention. Even when speaking on the same stage a few minutes before Cain at Americans for Prosperity’s annual convention Friday, Romney made no mention of Cain.

This focus on Perry to the exclusion of Cain is unusual: A maxim of politics is to never engage with candidates who are trailing you in the polls and instead focus on dinging those to whom you need to catch up. The strategy could mean that Romney is letting the media narrative take its own toll on Cain, rather than getting involved in the story.

But it also could mean that despite Cain’s continuing rise, Romney doesn’t see him as a real threat.


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