A group of New Hampshire Republican business leaders, activists and donors will be headed to Texas to visit with Gov. Rick Perry on Dec. 17, a top Perry adviser in the Granite State said Monday afternoon.
Michael Dennehy, New Hampshire adviser to the Perry policy group Americans for Economic Freedom, said that while New Hampshire will not have a presence at the first of a series of meetings with national donors and policy experts on Tuesday and Wednesday, that should not be construed as a lack of interest by Perry and his team in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
Dennehy also emphasized that if Perry runs for President for a second time, this time the campaign will be much different and Perry will have a “full commitment” to New Hampshire.
“Make no mistake that Governor Perry believes wholeheartedly in the first-in-the-nation primary and if he runs for President there is no doubt in my mind that New Hampshire will be a top priority,” Dennehy said.
Perry, during his short-lived campaign in 2011 and early 2012, frustrated some of his New Hampshire supporters because he focused on a strategy that prioritized first-caucus state Iowa and southern states instead of the Granite State.
Dennehy said New Hampshire will be a key part of the strategy if Perry runs for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
“2012 is the past and if he runs it will be an entirely different campaign because it’s a different election,” Dennehy said. “There will be no comparison.
“Without a doubt, he will have a full commitment to New Hampshire,” he said.
Politico reported on Friday that Perry has invited “hundreds” of prominent Republican donors and policy experts to a series of gatherings throughout December that are “intended to rebuild his damaged brand” after a series of gaffes led to his early departure from the 2012 race for the GOP presidential nomination.
Perry has visited New Hampshire twice so far this year, most recently Nov. 9 and 10 – less than a week after the midterm election – and made six stops in two days, including town halls – a very presidential candidate-like schedule. He said at the time he does not expect to make a decision about a presidential run until May or June.
Dennehy in May brought a group of key Granite Staters to Austin to have dinner with Perry.