Here's something new: Texas Gov. Rick Perry is being attacked for being too liberal.
On Rep. Ron Paul's (R-TX) presidential campaign website, Campaign Manager Jesse Benton writes an open letter to Perry entitled Rick Perry Can't Handle The Truth, laying out what the campaign views as a mismatch between his record and his campaign platform. Although the letter conveniently points out that Perry once supporter Al Gore for President, it focuses more on his record as the governor of Texas.
A portion of the letter wrote:
-It is that you supported Hillary Clinton's health care plan.
-You pushed for federal bailout and stimulus funds.
-You support welfare for illegal immigrants.
-You tried to forcibly vaccinate 12 year-old girls against sexually transmitted diseases by executive order.
-You raised taxes twice.
And, state debt has more than doubled in your tenure as governor, pushing Texas to the brink of our constitutional debt limit.
Governor Perry, with all due respect, you have used great rhetoric, Benton finishes. But you will have to answer to the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina and across the country as to why that rhetoric does not match your record.
With the primaries still months away, the candidates have mostly shied away from attacking each other and are targeting most of their attention to President Obama. However, that is beginning to change as the race begins to attract more media scrutiny.
After former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney released his jobs plan Tuesday, Perry's campaign sent out a release which said as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney failed to create a pro-jobs environment and failed to institute many of the reforms he now claims to support.
Perry went after Paul recently after the two have been debating about whom most fits the mold of former President Ronald Reagan, according to the Christian Science Monitor. After Paul released an ad entitled The One Who Stood with Reagan, Perry put out a release on his website, Ron Paul's Reagan Revisionism, which pointed out that Paul actually left the Republican Party because of disagreements with Reagan, who Republican candidates have frequently tried to liken themselves to due to his popularity.
Ronald Reagan was one of the most significant presidents of our generation, and a proven fiscal conservative, Perry spokesman Mark Miner said. Like President Reagan, Gov. Perry has cut taxes and freed employers from government regulations that kill jobs.
Paul, who is serving his 12th term in Congress, also ran for President in 1988 as a Libertarian, and in 2008 as a Republican. Paul has garnered media attention by emphasizing his strict constructionist platform, arguing that the federal government should not get involved with anything not explicitly authorized by the U.S. Constitution. He has proposed eliminating most government agencies and has recently called for abolishing the Federal Reserve, claiming it to be unconstitutional.
The campaign has garnered a loyal following, allowing Paul to raise a fair share of money through grassroots campaigning. In last month's Iowa Straw Poll, he finished second out of Republican candidates, narrowly losing to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).
Still, Paul's platform does not match that of the conventional Republican Party platform, which has made it difficult for Paul to garner serious consideration for the party nomination for President. Therefore, candidates have generally shied away from debating with Paul, instead focusing their attention on more mainstream candidates.
Correction: Ron Paul has proposed eliminating most government agencies. An earlier version of this story said he opposed eliminating government agencies.