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Rapid Response From Perry Campaign To Story About Racially Offensive Word

Note: This report contains an offensive racial epithet. It is an essential part of the story, however.

"Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign pushed back quickly and forcefully Sunday against a Washington Post story that linked Perry to a hunting camp known to some by a racially insensitive name," the Austin American-Statesman reports.

The Houston Chronicle's Perry Presidential blog adds that the Republican governor's presidential campaign:

"Disputed a Washington Post report that tied the Texas governor to the racially offensive name of hunting grounds his family had leased near his hometown of Paint Creek. Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan said the word 'Niggerhead,' which had been painted on a rock on the property, was painted over before Perry launched his political career as a Democrat in 1984."

As The Associated Press writes, however, the Post "reported that people interviewed for its story remember seeing the rock with the name at various points during the 1980s and 1990s, the period in which the Perrys had the hunting lease and Perry brought friends to the site."

The Post's front-page report is posted here.

Also Sunday, Republican presidential contender Herman Cain — the only African-American among the GOP candidates, said on ABC News' This Week that "I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place."

The American-Statesman says, though, that Perry spokesman Sullivan said Cain "is wrong about the Perry family's quick action to eliminate the word on the rock, but is right the word written by others long ago is insensitive and offensive. That is why the Perrys took quick action to cover and obscure it."

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times writes that Perry spent the weekend in New Hampshire trying "to regain ground."

Our colleague Frank James is following the 2012 presidential campaign over at It's All Politics.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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