1 of 2
Willis Glassgow, Associated Press
Texas Govenor and Presidential hopeful Rick Perry, speaks to supporters during a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., at Horry-Georgetown Technical College on Monday Sept. 5, 2011 in Conway, S.C.

WASHINGTON — A Texas-sized rivalry is brewing in the Republican presidential contest.

Comment on this story

Texas Rep. Ron Paul is calling Texas Gov. Rick Perry "Al Gore's Texas cheerleader" for once working to help elect the Democrat. Perry's team is branding Paul a turncoat for once leaving the GOP.

Perry and Paul are set to meet as presidential rivals for the first time at Wednesday's debate in California. Both campaigns are signaling they're ready to tell voters why each should be disqualified for the GOP nomination.

Last week, Paul likened Perry to a "candidate of the week" and predicted Perry's poll numbers would fall quickly once voters got to know him better.

Perry aides have dug up and distributed Paul's 1987 letter of resignation from the Republican Party.