Sarah Palin made an appearance in Texas today at a campaign rally for Rick Perry and the Austin American-Statesman interviewed one person in the crowd who said he supported Palin, but according to the Statesman reporter “would not back Perry because he believes Perry allowed the state to execute an innocent man”.
The controversy over Todd Willingham’s execution and Rick Perry’s cover-up of the investigation looking into whether the forensic evidence used to convict him was scientifically valid could hurt Rick Perry’s re-election prospects, but it depends how Perry’s opponents talk about the controversy in their own campaigns.
Judith Simon of Katy, who work a pink “Palin Power” T-shirt, said she finds the former governor authentic. “When I listen to Sarah Palin, I hear truth and sincerity coming through her. When you’re used to hearing the truth, you recognize the truth.”Simon also said she supports Perry. But her husband James, a fellow Palin fan, said he would not back Perry because he believes Perry allowed the state to execute an innocent man.He was referring to Cameron Todd Willingham, whom the state put to death in 2004 for starting a house fire that killed his wife and children. An arson expert found in a report for a state commission that the investigation that led to Willingham’s conviction was deeply flawed.Asked whom he would support in the primary, James Simon said, “How do I say this politely? None of your business.”