12:37 pm Nov. 30, 2011
Texas governor Rick Perry will be in New York City this weekend to participate in a Fox News forum hosted by Mike Huckabee, a spokesperson for Fox confirmed this morning.
When news of the forum was reported last week, five candidates—Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum—had already committed to attending. At the time, Perry was still unconfirmed, and, given his long and uneasy history with Huckabee, it was unclear whether he would make the trip.
Huckabee has been savaging Perry since long before that became an easy thing to do, disparaging Perry's chances since before Perry had even officially declared.
"For all his newfound commitment to hyper-conservatism, he’ll get to explain why he supported pro-abortion, pro-same-sex-marriage Rudy Guiliani last time," Huckabee wrote in an email to supporters in July.
Huckabee was, of course, the anti-abortion, anti-same-sex-marriage candidate in that race; Perry said at the time that Huckabee was incapable of winning the presidency.
As Perry's campaign has faltered, Huckabee hasn't missed many opportunities to point out his shortcomings. In September, he said Perry was "not prepared for the pressure of the presidential stage," and later poked fun at his debate gaffes.
Huckabee has enlisted three attorneys general—Pam Bondi of Florida, Scott Pruitt of Virginia, and Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia—as co-hosts, who will individually pose questions to the candidates.
It sounds slightly more forgiving than some of the debate formats, on balance, and theoretically offers Perry a chance to re-establish himself as a capable performer on the national stage a few weeks before before the Iowa caucuses.
Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman are not scheduled to attend the forum.