The Buzz

December 4, 2013

WHITE HOUSE 2016: Extras from Rick Perry's Spartanburg visit

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to

Some extra items from Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s visit to Spartanburg on Tuesday. ( Read the full report from The State ):

• State Reps. Rita Allison, Derham Cole and Eddie Tallon -- all Spartanburg Republicans -- got into Perry’s SUV after he spoke at a Rotary Club of Downtown Spartanburg lunch. Allison said they talked about working together to fight unfunded federal mandates and the Affordable Care Act.

She said the 2016 presidential campaign did not come up. Allison said she didn’t ask because “we figured he wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t interested” in running.

Allison thinks Perry could attract South Carolinians interested in his success as a governor of a large state: “The proof is in the pudding.”

Asked if she thought Perry would appeal to voters as a centrist alternative to libertarian candidates, Allison said, “I think he’s very conservative but realistic.”

• Perry got most emotional at end of his 20-minute speech at the South Carolina/Sparatnburg County Republican Party banquet when he talked about the two South Carolinains killed at The Alamo -- fort co-commander Wiilliam Travis and James Bonham.

He spoke about how Bonham left the fort to find out if help was coming and returned knowing that the Mexicans would attack. With his voice rising, he used The Alamo story to ask GOP supporters to not shy away from a fight.

• The party dinner was less than a sellout. The event drew two state constitutional officers -- Secretary of State Mark Hammond and Education Superintendent Mick Zais -- as well as a handful of state lawmakers including Sen. Katrina Shealy of Lexington, an ally of Gov. Nikki Haley.
• Spartanburg’s Lee Bright, a state senator running against Lindsey Graham for U.S. senate, did not come to the banquet because he was at a fundraiser in Oklahoma. His campaign had a table outside the reception hall. Plenty of bumper stickers were available.
• Media coverage of Perry’s speech at a Blue Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts for America fundraiser on Wednesday in Greenville worried one of his closest S.C. allies.

"I know what’s coming out of that one, which is a statement on the homosexuality and the Boy Scouts," former state party chairman Katon Dawson told The Run 2016. "That’s going to overwhelm the story."

Read the full story.

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