Rick Perry deflects scrutiny over Texas hunting camp

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign spent Sunday deflecting scrutiny of a report in The Washington Post detailing a West Texas hunting camp he once leased with his father that includes a racial epithet in its name.

It is the latest in a series of controversies the candidate has contended with in recent weeks as he seeks to retain the front-runner status he quickly claimed after entering the race seven weeks ago. Perry created a stir Saturday when he told a crowd of New Hampshire Republicans that he would consider sending U.S. troops into Mexico to combat drug violence there.

Sunday’s story detailed Perry’s association with a property known as “Niggerhead,” a name that was painted in block letters across a large rock flanking the property’s entrance. Perry has called the name “offensive” and said his father painted over the word shortly after leasing the land. That account differs from the recollections of seven people cited in the story, and it remains unclear when or whether Perry dealt with the name while using the camp.

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