Rick Perry's campaign is spinning a distant second place finish in Florida's straw poll as a "loss for Romney," rather than a disappointment for a campaign that is seeing a setback after a rocky performance at the Fox News/Google debate this week.
Saturday morning, the Texas governor told a prayer breakfast full of Florida GOP delegates that all "his hopes are on Florida." But shortly after the straw poll results were released, Perry press secretary Mark Miner told Fox News he doesn't see the loss to Cain as a setback.
Miner claims former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has been "campaigning in Florida for 5 years and can't get any traction. Rick Perry has been campaigning for 5 weeks."
While congratulating Atlanta businessman Herman Cain, who doubled Perry's performance with 37 percent, the campaign said the poll results show Perry's record on job creation, and stance on fiscal responsibility and limited government is gaining momentum.
Perry pushed hard for support this week and went after three of his contenders, including Romney, for skipping the straw poll. But in the end, Perry got just 15 percent of the straw poll votes, and only a percentage point more than Romney.
The campaign says it is gaining momentum in Florida and will continue to campaign hard in all battleground states.
But Perry's continued support for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and a shaky debate performance hurt him with Florida delegates, and could continue to pose further problems in other key states.