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Romney-Perry feud years in the making

Aug. 30, 2011 at 2:49 PM
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BOSTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A feud between Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Mitt Romney can be traced back to the 2002 Winter Olympics and the Boy Scouts, Perry says.

The Texas governor, who wears an Eagle Scout pin on his lapel, has criticized Romney for a decision made while he ran the Salt Lake City Olympics against allowing Boy Scouts to be official volunteers during the Games, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

"Several years have gone by and neither Mitt Romney nor anyone else who served as an official of the 2002 Winter Olympics has given a clear and logical explanation of why the door to volunteerism was shut on a willing 'army' of Boy Scout volunteers," Perry wrote in his 2008 book, "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For."

The Texas governor hints that Romney based his decision on political opportunism.Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said Boy Scouts couldn't volunteer because most weren't 18 years old, the minimum age set for volunteers.

The dispute helps highlight the differences between the two men as they prepare to on the same debate stage for the first time next week in Simi Valley, Calif.

"They have different demeanor and a different political profile," Republican consultant Terry Holt, not affiliated with any GOP presidential hopeful, told the Globe. "Romney seems to be a fairly cautious, methodical person. Rick Perry is a bit more of a punch in the nose."

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