The following are facts about the (un)known quantity from Texas. Mark it down, he’ll survive to run spots against Mitt Romney; it ain’t over ’til it’s over.
Rick Perry! No, really, Rick Perry!
After Perry’s latest debate blunder, most pundits have written off the Texas governor’s presidential chances. Not so fast, hombres.
Current conventional wisdom has it that whoever is at the top of the not-Romney bubble at the moment of the Iowa caucuses will be Romney’s strongest competition. But I think voters are more savvy than that. I think that Romney’s strongest competition is the not-Romney candidate who can convince the voters that he could beat Obama; Cain’s and Newt’s baggage are almost impossible to overcome, whereas Perry has yet to show that he can’t.
Perry’s system of patronage and cronyism
By virtue of his longevity in office, Perry therefore has appointed more donors to posts than any predecessor.
Texas poverty figures challenge Rick Perry jobs record
Report published by non-partisan CPPP says poverty in Texas is higher than the rest of America – and growing faster
Perry, authentic Texan – plus – Dubya Yankee Texan = DUDs – no más.
Both Bozos would be at home on Gilligan’s Isle rather than on the bridge of the starship Enterprise.
“The applause identified Rick Perry as the crowd favorite when he took the stage in Tampa for Monday night’s Tea Party debate/, greeting his lesser rivals as “fellas.”
But two hours later, those fellas – and a gal from Minnesota – had made some serious progress toward exposing the broad-shouldered Texas governor as an empty suit.
…On the defensive from beginning to end, Perry resorted to the time honored tradition of making up stuff. When Romney took issue with Perry’s previously-expressed views that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and unconstitutional, Perry had a comeback: ‘Governor, you’re calling it a criminal — you said if people did it in the private sector if would be called criminal. That’s in your book.’”
No, if Perry is to be defeated, he will have to do the job himself.
Perry built complicated record on matters of race
As governor of Texas, Rick Perry appointed the first African American to the state Supreme Court and later made him chief justice. One of Perry’s appointments to the Board of Regents of his alma mater, Texas A&M University, became its first black chairman. One chief of staff and two of his general counsels have been African American.
Perry, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, also enjoys warm associations with many black leaders, who say he regularly reaches out to them and has personally backed some of their causes.
Editorial: Candidate Rick Perry must offer more than catchphrases
Published 14 August 2011 01:03 PM
Here in Texas, we know a few things about Gov. Rick Perry. Foremost, he knows how to win. He has mowed down political opponents in a 27-year unbeaten streak, an impressive display of discipline and ability to read the winds.
Texas also knows that Rick Perry the officeholder is not at the same level as Rick Perry the candidate.
In nearly 11 years as governor, he has not been known for his problem-solving or innovation. Perry has instead established himself as a power governor who doesn’t like to be crossed, and many Texans are far more familiar with what he is against (like “Washington”) than what he is for.
Last year: “Walter Mondale, Mr. Carter’s vice president, told The New Yorker this week that anxious and angry voters in the late 1970s ‘just turned against us—same as with Obama.’ As the polls turned against his administration, Mr. Mondale recalled that Mr. Carter ‘began to lose confidence in his ability to move the public.’ Democrats on Capitol Hill are now saying this is happening to Mr. Obama.”
Is Obama the new Jimmy Carter?
As the crucial midterm elections approach, President Obama faces an outpouring of anger unmatched since Jimmy Carter held office. And the parallels with another ‘White House failure’ don’t end there, writes Rupert Cornwell
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
President Obama’s re-election will certainly be burnt toast if the economy continues failing to produce jobs. The entire electorate, not just cultural conservatives, will reject him and replace him with another Texan, for the Republicans have found their successor to Ronald Reagan, J.R. Perry, the man with the plan.
Like the Gipper, Rick Perry is a former Democrat and is prone to making gaffes. Also, both governators exude optimism, an essential quality for leadership, where image trumps substance. Both of them were/are tall and handsome with good hair. Compare their images to Abraham Lincoln, who would not get elected in today’s sound-bite political culture. Perhaps President Obama ‘s best counter-thrust to parry his Texas challenger will be to remind older voters that Ronald Reagan raised taxes six of the eight years he occupied the Oval Office.
Like Dubya, Rick Perry earned medicore grades in college and served in the Air Force. A secondary line of attack available to Democrats could resonate with younger voters by reminding them that Perry is an ideologue like George Bush, who bears primary responsibility for allowing the market meltdown to occur in 2008 when greed trumped regulation, yet the FBI knew it would happen.
A Texas Democratic strategist described the governor’s approach to campaigning this way: “When he does an attack ad, he’s like the godfather. It’s never personal, it’s always business.” And Perry’s next order of business is to take out Mitt Romney.
Romney has based his entire campaign on his job-creation record. Perry will be eager to point out that while Texas created 40 percent of America’s net new jobs in the last two years – the best record in the nation – Massachusetts ranked a dismal 47th in the country in jobs growth at the end of Romney’s tenure. A recent Wall Street Journal report points out that Massachusetts jobs growth under Romney was “a pitiful 0.9 percent” compared with the national average more than 5 percent – and that the only states with worse records were Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana, “two rustbelt states and another that lost its biggest city to a hurricane.” As one Perry supporter explained, “You’ll have two people standing next to each other, one that has a proven job creation record and one who doesn’t.”
…As his campaign takes Romney apart, Perry will highlight his own record of achievement in Texas. He will cite his success in making Texas the No. 1 state in America for creating jobs — by passing sweeping lawsuit reform, enacting a decade of balanced budgets, cutting spending and taxes, and reducing burdensome regulations. This will resonate with GOP primary voters, and especially with Tea Party Republicans, who will remember that Perry was one of the first major political figures to embrace their movement, long before it became fashionable in GOP circles to do so.
In announcing his candidacy in South Carolina on Saturday, he pointed to his policies of low taxes, reduced government spending and regulatory easing as “a recipe to produce the strongest economy in the nation” and one that Washington would do well to duplicate.
Since Mr. Perry succeeded George W. Bush as governor in 2000, he has viewed his role as mostly staying out of the way of the private sector. When he has stepped in, he has tweaked the system, not remade it. For example, he pushed through tort reform to limit lawsuits against doctors, which encouraged the continued expansion of major medical centers. He also set up an enterprise fund that gave businesses nearly a half a billion dollars in grants and financial incentives over the last eight years to encourage their expansion.
For homeowners, he cut real estate taxes to make the state’s already cheap housing a bit more affordable. And a few months ago, with the state facing a $27 billion deficit in its two-year budget, Mr. Perry called lawmakers into a special session and insisted they not raise taxes. The Republican-dominated Legislature complied, slashing billions of dollars in aid to public schools.
“He’s been a promoter of stability in regulatory policy and stability in spending,” said Talmadge Heflin, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy and a former Republican state representative. “That gives him something to show for whatever he runs for.”
Perry has characterized Texas as one huge job-creating machine, but what lured jobs from other states cannot work on a national level — unless we drain Canada. What does create jobs — well-paying jobs, in fact — is education. But while Perry has hardly been oblivious to the importance of education, he nonetheless opposes national standards. This is catastrophic. America trails China, South Korea, Japan and other countries in math and science, and our huge minority population does about as well as school kids in developing nations.
Perry has exactly the wrong approach. He says the federal government needs to stop “dictating” school policy when this is precisely what needs to be done. He says “government doesn’t create jobs,” when in fact it can and does. He blasted the stimulus programs, yet without them the American economy and its financial institutions would be much worse off. He repeats bromides about small business, but what small businesses really need is not tax relief but orders from big business [actually, loans to expand].
Perry’s calling card in the presidential race is his state’s record of job creation at a time when the national economy floundered. Yes, Texas has created lots of jobs, though that’s partly a reflection of the surge in oil prices, which in turn created tens of thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industries. What Perry touts in his stump speech, however, isn’t the oil boom but, rather, the low-tax, low-reg, handouts-to-business climate that prevails in Texas. It’s the kind of spiel that businesses hear every day from leaders of developing nations — Mexico and, even more, China.
Consider the Texas that Perry holds up to the rest of the nation for admiration. It has the fourth-highest poverty rate of any state. It tied with Mississippi last year for the highest percentage of workers in minimum-wage jobs. It ranks first in adults without high school diplomas. Twenty-six percent of Texans have no health insurance — the highest percentage of medically uninsured residents of any state. It leads the nation in the percentage of children who lack medical insurance. Texas has an inordinate number of employers who provide no insurance to their workers, partly because insurance rates are high, thanks to an absence of regulations.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has powered his political career on the largesse of donors likeDallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who gave the governor $1.12 million in recent years.
And donors like Simmons have found the rewards to be mutual, reaping benefits from Texas during Perry’s tenure.
Perry has received a total of $37 million over the last decade from just 150 individuals and couples, who are likely to form the backbone of his new effort to win the Republican presidential nomination. The tally represented more than a third of the $102 million he had raised as governor through December, according to data compiled by the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice.
Nearly half of those mega-donors received hefty business contracts, tax breaks or appointments under Perry, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis.
Perry, campaigning Monday at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, declined to comment when asked how he separated the interests of his donors from the needs of his state. His aides vigorously dispute that his contributors received any perks.
“They get the same thing that all Texans get,” said spokesman Mark Miner.
Along with Simmons — who won permission to build a low-level radioactive waste disposal site in Texas, a project that promises to generate hundreds of millions of dollars — The Times found dozens of examples in which major donors to Perry have benefited during his tenure.
Perry’s 2010 Tea Party-steeped manifesto, “Fed Up!,” makes George Bush look like George McGovern. Perry has said he wasn’t planning to run for president when he wrote the book, and it shows:
●The Texas governor floats the notion of repealing the 16th Amendment, which authorized the federal income tax. Perry describes the amendment as “the great milestone on the road to serfdom” because it “was the birth of wealth redistribution in the United States.”
Raise your hand if you believe, as Perry suggests, that it is wrong to ask the wealthiest to pay a greater share of their income than the poor.
●He lambastes the 17th Amendment, which instituted direct election of senators, as a misguided “blow to the ability of states to exert influence on the federal government” that “traded structural difficulties and some local corruption for a much larger and dangerous form of corruption.”
Raise your hand if you’d like to give the power to elect senators back to your state legislature.
● Perry laments the New Deal as “the second big step” — the 16th and 17th amendments being the first — “in the march of socialism and . . . the key to releasing the remaining constraints on the national government’s power to do whatever it wishes.”
●He specifically targets Social Security for “violently tossing aside any respect for our founding principles of federalism and limited government,” and asserts that “by any measure, Social Security is a failure.”
Not by the measure of the dramatically reduced share of elderly living in poverty. Perry’s description of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” was impolitic, but he has a legitimate point about the program’s funding imbalance. The bigger problem is his fundamental hostility to the notion of a federal role in retirement security — or, more broadly, a federal role in much of anything beside national defense.
●As much as he dislikes the New Deal, Perry is even less happy about the Great Society, suggesting that programs such as Medicare are unconstitutional. “From housing to public television, from the environment to art, from education to medical care, from public transportation to food, and beyond, Washington took greater control of powers that were conspicuously missing from Article 1 of the Constitution,” he writes.
Whoa! These are not mainstream Republican views — at least, not any Republican mainstream post-Goldwater and pre-Tea Party. Even Ronald Reagan, who had once criticized Social Security and Medicare, was backing away from those positions by the 1980 presidential campaign.
Beltway doesn’t get Romney’s vulnerability
By Erick Erickson, CNN Contributor
updated 11:30 AM EST, Mon September 26, 2011
(CNN) – When the bulk of the Republican pundits and prognosticators support one candidate, the reporters and political analysts who rely on those Republicans tend to act as if that candidate is the one everybody supports.
The media, in effect, have become film critic Pauline Kael, who allegedly expressed surprise when Richard Nixon won, because no one she knew had voted for him.
This is what is going on with Mitt Romney. Just about every Republican pundit, commentator, and prognosticator that the media rely on for an insider take on the GOP — no matter how objective the inside take is expected to be — is within the Mitt Romney sphere of influence.
Consider, for example, National Journal, which is perhaps the best barometer of inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom in existence. In National Journal’s poll of Republican insiders, Mitt Romney dominates. But take a look at who those insiders are: Nearly a quarter of the Republicans listed are or have been in recent years directly connected to Romney.
More than once in the past six months I’ve been on CNN and had reporters, analysts, and others express surprise that Romney was not doing as well as expected. Of course they would expect him to do well, when so many Republicans in their sphere of influence tout Romney.
But look outside the Beltway, and Romney has a serious problem, and has had that problem for some time.
In Florida, Romney, who is polling in second place in the state, came in third in the straw poll (a poll in which people pay to cast a vote), beaten by Herman Cain and Rick Perry. Romney chose not to participate, instead focusing on Michigan.
In Michigan — he’s a native of Michigan, where his father was governor — Romney came in first in a straw poll, followed by Perry and Cain. Romney captured 50% of the vote, his strongest showing. But the Michigan primary comes after the caucuses and primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire (where he is ahead), South Carolina, Florida, and Nevada, whose popular governor just endorsed Perry.
In Iowa, Romney came in behind Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Cain, and Perry, who’d only become a candidate a few hours before the poll closed. As in Florida, Romney chose not to actively participate, but did participate in the Iowa debate prior to the straw poll.
Within a week of Perry entering the 2012 field, Romney lost his front-runner status in the polls to Perry. Despite two less than stellar debate performances, Perry managed to hold on. Polling has not yet come out after his dismal third debate performance, though the Florida straw poll suggests that performance will hurt Perry.
As long as the field remains crowded and Perry, as the guy most likely to consolidate the anti-Romney field right now, remains uninspiring and unredeemed from his last debate performance, Romney benefits. But he benefits not as the candidate who excites the base, nor the one whom the base wants to fight for, but as the candidate whose attributes no one in the grass roots wants, while the rest of the pack divides up over all the attributes the base does want.
Romney also benefits because — since so many reporters, analysts, pundits and others presume him the nominee and since he was vetted in 2008 — the media have been less likely to dwell on his record and issues, instead choosing to focus on the new candidates.
Consequently, while the public has been exposed to three consecutive debates delving deep into Perry’s HPV vaccine executive order — an order that affected precisely zero people, as it was overturned by the Texas legislature before being implemented — the public has not been exposed to the continuing effects of Romney’s “Romneycare” in Massachusetts, which has become a financial drain on the state.
That’s not exactly a position to envy. Romney’s vetting will now come closer to the start of the primaries, and he remains without a natural constituency, outside of the Beltway crowd that the Republican base holds in almost as much contempt as they do President Obama.