There was the following sentence in the New York Times (September 24) article, titled “Perry and Romney set clear lines of attack”:
“His (Rick Perry’s) shaky debate performance Thursday night in Florida underscored concerns among establishment Republicans and donors about his electability and his skills as a candidate on a national stage — and the difficulty he has had planting serious doubts about Mr. Romney. He also finished a distant second place in a weekend Florida straw poll."
I was arrested to the line, ‘His shaky debate performance underscored audience’s concerns about --- and the difficulty he has had planting serious doubts” about Mr. Romney.’
Is the expression, “have ＋_ing” like “He has had planting serious doubts” common English usage? Shouldn’t it be either ‘he has (had) planted,’ or “he has (had) been planting.” I’ve barely seen the expression “have (had)” directly followed by a gerund or a verb in progressive form.