Perry’s Stance on Immigration Threatens His Front-Runner Status

September 24, 2011


EXETER, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s stance on immigration is causing an uproar among conservative voters, jeopardizing his front-runner position in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Perry’s support of education benefits for illegal immigrants has led one national immigration group to say he is finished. And a key Iowa conservative said evangelical supporters are abandoning Perry after he doubled down on his support of the policy in the last two GOP debates.

“If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought here by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” Perry said at Thursday’s Fox News/Google debate in Orlando.

Bob Vander Plaats, head of the influential Iowa conservative group The Family Leader, said voters in the first caucus of the election season may warm to another GOP contender.

“There is a huge opening in Iowa,” he told Fox News. “Right now the first-in-the-nation-caucus state is completely up for grabs.”

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