Less than five weeks before the Iowa caucuses, GOP presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry is stressing his credentials as a person of deep Christian faith in a new ad airing in Iowa television markets.
"America's greatest leaders have been people of strong faith, strong values. That makes for a strong America. I'm Rick Perry. I'm not ashamed to talk about my faith," says the Texas governor in the 30 second video. Perry is a Methodist who attends an evangelical megachurch. Evangelical Christians make up approximately 60 percent of voters in Iowa’s GOP caucus.
The Family Leader, a key evangelical group in the early caucus state, announced in November that they had narrowed their endorsement down to Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. Herman Cain, who suspended his campaign Saturday, was polling at a 14.3 percent average in Iowa. AP analysis reports that the ad referencing Perry's faith is aimed at cutting off evangelical support in Iowa from going to Gingrich, who recently converted to Catholicism, has been married three times and acknowledged infidelity in his first two marriages.
Perry has been very public about his faith from the launch of his campaign, having hosted a major prayer gathering in August a week before declaring his presidential candidacy. The event drew 30,000 attendees, and Perry was criticized by some at the time for using his authority as a public official to promote a religious event.
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