Anita Perry, the wife of 2012 presidential hopeful Rick Perry, reflected on her husband’s “rough month” today, telling voters in South Carolina that the campaign has been “brutalized” by the press and by Perry’s Republican rivals.In an emotional speech at North Greenville University, Mrs. Perry emphasised the role faith has played in her husband’s struggling 2012 White House bid, deftly tying together Evangelical Christianity with the Perrys’ experience on the campaign trail and suggesting that the Texas Governor has been unfairly targeted because of his religion.
“We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party,” Mrs. Perry said, according to NBC News. “So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative – well, there are some true conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.”
She went on to compare her husband’s decision to run for president to an encounter with a “burning bush,” framing the election in starkly religious terms and calling the Perry campaign’s recent struggles a “test” from God.
“Our country is on the abyss of failure and destruction,” she said. “We are fighting for the soul of our country.”
Mrs. Perry has long been a powerful surrogate for her husband with members of the conservative Christian community, and her emotional speech is clearly part of a ramped up effort to reach out to the GOP’s conservative Christian base. But playing the Christian victim card is a risky move in a race where faith has already become a major issue.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.