Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry today is rolling out the first campaign-style digital ad of the 2016 cycle, in which he pays homage to the “tough,” “durable,” “Live Free or Die” spirit of the Granite State and sends a clear message that he intends to campaign extensively in New Hampshire if he – as expected – runs for President.
The ad was obtained exclusively by the New Hampshire Journal and can be viewed below.
Shot during his visit to the state last Wednesday and Thursday, the 68-second ad by Perry’s RickPAC shows a ‘fired-up’ Perry meeting with Granite Staters in small meetings and then addressing the Strafford County Republican Committee Lincoln Day Dinner last Thursday evening. Twice in the ad, he uses the famous Granite State motto to make a point.
And at one point in the ad, he even wipes away a tear from a baby’s eye.
“This ad illustrates his commitment to New Hampshire, his respect for the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary and what it takes to win here,” said Perry top New Hampshire adviser Michael Dennehy. “This is something Granite Staters have never seen from Rick Perry before.”
Perry briefly ran for President in 2007 and early 2008, but was unable to make much headway. He has said he learned much from the experience and that if he runs again, he will be better prepared and will engage in the type of person-to-person retail campaigning that Granite Staters expect.
The ad begins with him landing in New Hampshire, saying, “We’re in beautiful New Hampshire, the Granite State,” with video of narrow, snow-filled streets, snow banks, the State House, an Interstate 93/Concord sign and other scenes in which he is talking to Granite Staters one-on-one and in groups.
“Granite’s tough,” Perry says in the ad. “It’s durable, just like the people who live in this fiercely independent state. We’ve been to Concord, Manchester, Dover, Portsmouth, meeting with locals, learning what’s important to them.
“It’s snowing, it’s cold, but I’m fired up,” he says. He turns to the camera from the front seat of a moving vehicle and says, “Live free or die. Amen.”
The scene then shifts to Perry’s appearance at the Strafford County Republican event last Thursday night. He says, “We will be there standing up for freedom no matter where it is, economically, militarily. And if we have a Congress and a President that respect that, then the greatest years of America are in front of us.
“Are you ready to send that message across this country, that New Hampshire is about living free or dying?” an emotional Perry says as the ad concludes.
Back in NH March 11-13
Perry is also ramping up a likely campaign in first-caucus state Iowa. He will return there on Monday and has hired four Iowa staffer, according to the Des Moines Register.
He will return to New Hampshire on March 11 to 13, and the Journal has learned that he will spend about half of his time in the North Country, including Coos County. The Journal has also learned that he is scheduled to appear at the traditional New England Council/New Hampshire Institute of Politics’ “Politics and Eggs” breakfast on the morning of March 12.
“With every visit, Governor Perry is receiving more and more encouragement from Republican leaders and activists that he should run for President,” Dennehy said.
Dennehy in 2000 and 2008 helped guide John McCain to two New Hampshire Primary victories by focusing on retail campaigning and the multitude of town halls McCain became known for. It appears Perry will engage in a similar style of campaigning should he – as expected – run for President for a second time.