Mitt Romney's Cyber War on Rick Perry

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Mitt Romney is going negative on Rick Perry and he's using one of the most tried-and-true methods: The Internet. Today, Romney for President, Inc. launched, an anti-Rick Perry websites aimed at undermining the former Massachusetts governor's best-funded opponent. The only content on the site is a 60-second web video slamming Perry for Texas's 1 million unemployed and the fact that “nearly half of new jobs in Texas over the last four years went to illegal immigrants.” Still, the website's "coming soon" sign suggests this is just the site's opening salvo. And that's just one anti-Rick Perry site. A Monday report in The Washington Post shows other anti-Perry sites are being gobbled up including, and

While no one is claiming ownership of the anti-Perry sites, The Post's Philip Rucker and T.W. Farnam note that the same day the domain names were purchased, Romney's campaign bought $2,851 worth of domain names at, which was the same vendor that sold the anti-Perry domains. Currently, the domain names don't host any content, but that doesn't mean the Perry camp isn't complaining about them. “The public is more interested in how the candidates can create jobs and improve the economy, not how many domain names you can rack up,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner told The Washington Post. “We’re not running for student body council here. This is for president of the United States.”

Recommended Reading

Interestingly, there's another campaign that may be gobbling up anti-Perry domains as well: President Obama's. The Post reports that sites such as, and were also purchased. "On Aug. 15, two days after Perry launched his campaign, Obama’s campaign spent $3,958 at Go­ At least 70 domains containing Perry’s name were bought on the same date."

The Internet has not necessarily been kind to Perry in his years of political campaigning. Many will recall his bruising gubernatorial battle against Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, in which Hutchison's campaign website was juiced with the possible intent of spreading rumors about Perry being gay. Within the site's juicing program were 2,200 hidden phrases, one of which was "rick perry gay." When this was discovered, the Hutchison campaign promptly removed them and issued a somewhat crafty statement. "We did not know these offensive word associations were being searched for by hundreds of thousands of Texans everyday nor do we condone the computer-generated existence on our Web site. They will be removed promptly."

Meanwhile, Perry is going positive today with a new web video promoting his jobs record and experience with energy companies. How quaint! What's a matter, Perry? Afraid to get in the dirt?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.