How pathetic is it when your best defense of Rick Perry's record in Texas, which as Rachel Maddow pointed out the other night, includes the largest number of employees working at or below the federal minimum wage, is to attack the person you're debating as "downplaying" the jobs Perry created? Well, that's exactly what former Bushie Brad Blakeman did here when debating South Carolina Democratic Chair Dick Harpootlian on Fox's America Live.
Blakeman interrupted Harpootlian as soon as he started making some good points about Perry and talking over him, probably hoping to change the subject by getting Harpootlian to respond to him. Far too often on Fox, when someone like Blakeman uses this sort of tactic, they manage to throw the person they've been put in the debate box with off message, or the host on Fox just allows them to talk for almost the entire segment and the other person never gets another word in edgewise. I was glad to see that didn't happen during this segment.
The topic of discussion was whether Rick Perry was going to enter into the 2012 GOP primary race and after Blakeman touted the usual lines about how great a candidate Perry would be because of his wonderful record on job creation in Texas, Harpootlian got in a few good points about Perry's record in Texas, that's when Blakeman jumped in.
CAMEROTA: Okay, well Dick, I think that Brad just spelled out a winning strategy, at least in Republican terms. So what's taking Rick Perry so long to decide?
HARPOOTLIAN: Well I mean, I think that Perry knows the facts and the problem with all of these Republican candidates, especially Perry is the truth is not what he said. Brad's right. He did have tremendous job increases in Texas, but he's also run up a $27 billion deficit.
That's larger than any state, except California. All those jobs he created, most of them were minimum wage, or below minimum wage. And they have the highest below minimum wage population in the country. This is no economic miracle.
BLAKEMAN: Now you're downplaying, you're downplaying the jobs he's created, putting down the work of people not making huge salaries. You know, you'd be complaining if Gov. Perry created millionaires, but that's not the case. He's helping the people who can't help themselves the most.
To her credit, Megyn Kelly fill-in did give Harpootlian a chance to respond. And to his credit, Harpootlian stayed on point and rather than respond to Blakeman and start arguing with him - which is what Blakeman was hoping he'd do by attacking him - and he went on to finish making his point on Perry's terrible economic record if you're an ordinary working person in Texas. He also brought up a number of Perry's ethical scandals as well.
If Brad Blakeman thinks that bragging about how many minimum wage jobs the Republicans have created is a good talking point for them during the upcoming election and that it's somehow "downplaying" those jobs because you'd like to see more Americans earn a living wage, I say bring it on.