Perry Immigration Strategy May Help Woo Hispanics

September 28, 2011 - 3:10 AM
Perry Immigration

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2011, photo, Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the Republican Leadership Conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. He calls his rivals “heartless” and defends moderate parts of his immigration record with ethnically charged language. But Perry’s strategy may endear the Texas governor to Hispanics even as it angers others the presidential candidate must woo to win. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

MIAMI (AP) — Rick Perry calls his rivals "heartless" and defends moderate parts of his immigration record with ethnically charged language.

But his strategy may endear the Texas governor to Hispanics even as it angers others the presidential candidate must woo to win.

His in-your-face approach to addressing what many non-Hispanic conservatives consider a black mark on his record underscores the difficult politics at play for Perry.

He's a border-state governor who for 10 years has taken great care to avoid alienating the nation's fastest-growing minority group. But Perry now finds himself running for president in a Republican primary whose electorate is staunchly opposed to illegal immigration, much like George W. Bush did when he ran for president.