Does Romney Really Want to Call Perry Stupid?

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The hunter is now ... the hunted. Photo: Politico

Mitt Romney's campaign is going hard after Rick Perry. As it happens, Perry's campaign is in free fall. (See this latest poll in Florida, a crucial primary state, where he's now running fourth .) But Romney's latest attack on Perry seems to risk backfiring on him.

The hit is a spoof of Perry's "economic plan," which Perry hasn't released yet, and which mostly consists of empty pages. That's safe enough. But the cover features Perry firing a gun, which is supposed to make him look like a doofus. To me, it does make him look life a doofus. But I'm an East Coast liberal elitist who also thought Dubya was a doofus. I'm not sure conservatives will see Perry's gun-firing like I do.

What's more, Romney seizes on Perry's verbal slips:

There is also even more cutting criticism of the Texan under a header of: "Major Domestic Policy Speech" that includes Perry quotes aimed to make him look like a simpleton.

"Zero personal income tax is very good" goes one. "Stop the mad dash to these federal regulations are having that kill jobs in America today."

This is exactly the kind of thing liberals did to Bush, which conservatives endlessly cited as coastal elite bias against regular Americans. If I'm Perry, I play that card.