The 10 Worst Things About Rick Perry (And Why It Would Be Really Bad If He Runs for President)
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
"Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention." - Molly Ivins
Texas Governor Rick Perry has been flirting with the idea of running for president for months now. While the three-term Republican has danced around an official announcement, ads calling him “a better option” are already airing on Fox News (naturally) in Iowa, funded by the political action committee “Jobs for Iowa.” Related super PACs have been created in South Carolina and Florida.
The governor Molly Ivins called “the Coiffure” has claimed he's brought jobs to Texas, passed a laundry list of conservative dream legislation, and managed to become the longest-serving governor in the history of the state. With a relatively lackluster—or outright strange--Republican field this year, Perry appears to have a better-than-most shot at capturing the nomination, bringing not only conservative and Christian credentials but a veneer of respectability and accomplishment that candidates like Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain lack.
As Perry oozes toward an announcement—he says he's waiting til after Labor Day—under the pretense that he's fixed Texas' economy and is a more moderate option than Michele Bachmann but a better evangelical base-pleaser than Mormon Mitt Romney, we thought it was a good time to take a look at the Texan. Here are 10 reasons Rick Perry is just as bad as Michele Bachmann—and a whole lot more likely to actually win the nomination.
1. Separation of church and state? What separation?
On August 6, Perry and right-wing evangelical leaders are sponsoring a a prayer rally in Houston's Reliant Stadium dedicated to “the One True God through his Son Jesus Christ.”
Perry's message on the event's website reads:
“Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.”
Allan E. Parker Jr., the organizer who referred to the rally as for “The One True God,” also wrote that it would be “idolatry of the worst sort for Christians to gather and invite false gods like Allah and Buddha and their false prophets to be with us at that time.”
So much for religious tolerance.
Even Houston-area clergy members have spoken out against the rally's exclusive nature and the extreme figures involved in it, saying in a joint letter, “We are concerned that our governor has crossed the line by organizing a religious event rather than focusing on the people’s business in Austin.”
It's even more out of line if said governor wants to be president.
Before he makes up his mind about being president, Perry ought to decide whether he wants to be a part of the United States.
Back in 2009, during Perry's bumpy reelection race, the governor told a Tea Party crowd:
"There's a lot of different scenarios...We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."
Rush Limbaugh was a fan of Perry's statements, and Texas Republicans too. Perry later affirmed his stance, saying:
“We are very proud of our Texas history; people discuss and debate the issues of can we break ourselves into five states, can we secede, a lot of interesting things that I'm sure Oklahoma and Pennsylvania would love to be able to say about their states, but the fact is, they can't because they're not Texas."