(WASHINGTON) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry was met with jeers today at the Texas GOP Convention in Fort Worth after he expressed support for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Texas Senate primary race. But it seems the governor thought the set of boos was actually a supportive round of “Dew.”
“We need more strong, conservative Texans in Washington, including my friend and colleague David Dewhurst,” Perry said, according to prepared remarks. Reporters attending the event tweeted about the boos emerging from the conservative audience.
Perry later told reporters that he thought the crowd was yelling “Dew,” a nickname for Dewhurst.
But the discontent with Perry’s endorsement of Dewhurst served as a sign of the crowd’s support for Tea Party darling and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, who is in a runoff against Dewhurst in the Republican Senate primary race.
The Republican primary race for retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat entered into a runoff after Dewhurst failed to gain 50 percent of the vote in the late May primary. Dewhurst still beat Cruz by 18 points, but fell 2 points short of securing the nomination. The second round of voting will take place July 31.
Perry formally endorsed his lieutenant governor in May and even taped a television advertisement on his behalf. Dewhurst also received the backing of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, but other major Republican figures leaped to the other side of the race. Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum threw their backing behind Cruz. Republican nominee Mitt Romney has stayed out of endorsing in the primary race.
Perry, who engaged in a five-month sprint for the White House, joked with the Republican crowd about his failed presidential bid.
“Twenty million dollars may not earn you any delegates, but it will give you a great tour of the country,” Perry said.
Perry has not ruled out another gubernatorial run in 2014 or even another shot at the presidency in 2016 and continues to keep his plans a mystery.
“I’m not riding off into the sunset. I’m mounting up for the next operation,” Perry said.
But one thing Perry, who endorsed Romney in April, always is eager to highlight is the failings of President Obama. Perry turned his own infamous “oops” moment into a critique of the president by saying, “Admit it America, 2008 was our national ‘oops’ moment.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chris Isidore, CNN
Jim Acosta and Greg Clary, CNN
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News
Stephen Collinson, CNN