Ron Paul and Rick Perry Set To Clash at Republican Debate

Ron Paul’s attacks on Rick Perry guarantee the two men will have a face-off during tonight’s Republican presidential debate. Mitt Romney can heave a sigh of relief.

[slideshow post_id=”139242″ exclude=”1″]
[A still from Ron Paul’s new ad attacking Rick Perry shows the congressman chatting with conservative icon Ronald Reagan.]

Ron Paul is definitely going after rival Rick Perry. Paul last Friday described sudden front-runner Perry a “candidate of the week,” and his team yesterday released an ad highlighting the Texas governor’s work on Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign.

“Rick Perry helped lead Al Gore’s campaign to undo the Reagan revolution, fighting to elect Al Gore president of the United States,” says the narrator, who also points out that Paul was one of only four congressmen who endorsed Reagan’s 1976 presidential run. “Now America must decide who to trust: Al Gore’s Texas cheerleader, or the one who stood with Reagan?”

The Perry camp responded by reminding voters that Paul abandoned the GOP over Reagan’s policies, pointing to a letter in which Paul wrote, “There is no credibility left for the Republican Party as a force to reduce the size of government… That is the message of the Reagan years.”

Considering the intensity of these back-and-forth jabs, we’re sure to see Paul and Perry face-off during tonight’s Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan presidential library.

“…The most interesting debate dynamic will likely be between the two Texans onstage with the same pair of initials — Rick Perry, the governor, and Ron Paul, the representative,” writes ‘Los Angeles Times’ reporter Andrew Malcolm.

It’s unknown who will come out on top in Paul versus Perry. Perry has yet to appear with his opponents, but is known for being stubborn during debates, refusing to yield to his opponents.

Paul tends to get more impassioned, verbalizing his frustration and befuddlement over what he sees as a government gone awry. Will he lose his cool against an unflappable Perry? Or will Perry look as if he’s attacking a libertarian and Tea Party favorite?

As the Paul and Perry campaigns prepare for this evening, the other six candidates can rest a little easier, especially Mitt Romney. Ever since Perry surged into the race, political conversation has revolved around whether Romney can reclaim the top slot. If Paul and Perry focus on one another, as predicted, then Romney can sit back, watch the fur fly and offer a commanding performance.