When Rick Perry got in the presidential race, the clamor among Republican activists for fresh blood seemed to ease.
But now that he’s had two poor debate performances where he got hammered for a relatively moderate record on immigration and his mandatory HPV vaccine for young girls — and now that he lost an early test vote at a Florida straw poll he worked hard to win — conservatives find themselves looking once again for another White Knight. And this one is big:
With the party’s frontrunner sagging, Chris Christie is reconsidering pleas from Republican elites and donors to run for president in 2012, two Republican sources told POLITICO.
The New Jersey governor has indicated he is listening to big-money backers and Republican influence-makers, and will let them know in roughly a week whether he has moved off his threat-of-suicide vow to stay on the sidelines of a presidential race that remains amorphous heading into the fall, the two sources said.
Republicans see an electable, tough-talking budget guru in Christie, despite his presiding over a downgrading of his state’s debt (most of the damage was done in previous administrations, to be sure).
And perhaps most important, despite his moderate stances on some social issues, they see someone without the kind of blemishes or political weaknesses that Perry and Romney have displayed over the years.