PeopleRick Perry Will Perry Troubleshooter's Troubles Cut Deep?

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about how Jay Kimbrough's firing from the Texas A&M System will affect Rick Perry's race for president.

By Brandi Grissom

Gov. Rick Perry's go-to problem solver, Jay Kimbrough, could have chosen a more inconvenient time to take out his pocket knife in response to his firing from the Texas A&M University System, whose flagship university is Perry's alma mater. But maybe not much more.

"There's a lot of scrutiny on Perry right now, obviously, so any story related to him — whether it's his blind trust showing up blind and dumb or whether it's Kimbrough getting separated from the university — is seen through the lens of, 'What does this mean about Rick Perry?" says Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University.

The day before Perry takes the stage for his third nationally televised debate as a front-runner in the fight for the GOP presidential nomination, Kimbrough — the governor’s former chief of staff, director of homeland security, and chief criminal justice adviser — made headlines with his termination and subsequent display of his pocketknife.

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