Texas Governor Rick Perry may have been trying to make up for the "Niggerhead Ranch" scandal at last night's debate by twice calling the lone black candidate "brother." Perry didn't use the term for anyone else on stage.
The "brother" comments came when debate moderator Anderson Cooper asked Perry if Texans would pay more under Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan.
Herman, I love you, brother, but let me tell you something. You don't need to have a big analysis to figure this thing out. Go to New Hampshire where they don't have a sales tax and you're fixing to give them one. They're not interested in 9-9-9. What they're interested in is flatter and fairer. At the end of the week, I'm going to be laying out a plan that -- I'll bump plans with you, brother, and we'll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again. And one of the ways -- right here in Nevada, you got 8-plus percent. You want nine cents on top of that and nine cents on a new home or 9% on a new home, 9% on your social security, 9% more? I don't think so, Herman. It's not going to fly.
You could argue that Perry calls people "brother" all the time, but what was clear in last night's debate was that he didn't call anybody else brother. In fact, Perry called Romney "sir" three times, even as their exchanges got increasingly heated.
Gwen Ifill, the host of PBS' Newhour who's moderated debates in the past, tweeted the following message immidiately after Perry's comments: "Why is @GovernorPerry calling @THEHermanCain brother? Are they related? #scandal"
Twelve more GOP debates have been announced already between now and Super Tuesday.