Through Liberal Eyes - Cowboy swagger meets over-the-top bluster and ultra-conservative political and evangelical Christian ideology.
Rick Perry, Texas governor since 2000 when he succeeded George W. Bush, wants to remake the nation in image of the Lone Star State, which should frighten all Americans, not just liberals. Reports The Economist, "Texas has America’s highest rate of people without health-care insurance (26%)... and one of the highest poverty rates."
The bottom line: Rick Perry might make you long for George W. Bush. Tea Partiers would support Perry if he hadn't been remotely compassionate about the plight of the children of undocumented immigrants.
Add to that several goofy debate meltdowns, and Rick Perry's 2012 candidacy is sinking faster than an oil-slicked boulder tossed into the Gulf of Mexico.
Competitors - Per polling, Gov. Perry's top competitors for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Herman Cain, pastor and businessman. The victor will run against President Barack Obama on November 6, 2012.
Rick Perry on the Issues
- Social Security - Called it a "Ponzi scheme," which is defined as "a fraudulent investment operation." Also declared Social Security to be "unconstitutional."
- Medicare - Also stated that he regards Medicare as "unconstitutional."
- Health Care Reform - Perry pledges to "repeal Obamacare – a misguided, unconstitutional and unsustainable government takeover of our health care."
- Jobs Creation - Rick Perry boasts of his exceptional jobs creation record as Texas governor. But per CNN in August 2011, "... if Texas has created many jobs, it has failed to create good jobs. Many of the jobs created since 2009 pay only minimum wage, and Texas, along with Mississippi, has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in the U.S."
- Stimulus Hypocrisy - "Many contend that Mr Perry has not been as fiscally prudent as he claims. Though a vocal critic of the 2009 stimulus, he quietly accepted $6.4 billion in federal money, which was mostly used to address a $6.6 billion shortfall looming in the 2010-11 budget," per The Economist.
- Science - Perry refers to evolution as "a theory that's out there." About global warming, Perry told New Hampshire voter "that global warming is an unproven scientific theory that has been advanced, at least in part, by scientists who have 'manipulated data,'" per the Los Angeles Times.
- Governor of Texas - December 2000 to present
- Lieutenant Governor of Texas - January 1999 to December 2000
- Texas Commissioner of Agriculture - January 1991 to January 1999
- Texas House of Representatives - 1985 to 1991
- U.S. Air Force - 1972 to 1977, attaining the rank of Captain. Perry flew supplies and equipment in the U.S. and overseas
- Returned to family business farming "dryland cotton, milo and wheat." - 1977 to 1985
- Birth - March 4, 1950 in Paint Creek, Texas, to ranchers Joseph and Amelia Perry. Joseph Perry, a southern Democrat, was a local school board member and county commissioner.
- Education - Paint Creek High School, one of 13 students who graduated in 1968. B.S. in animal science, 1972, Texas A & M University. In college, Perry was a yell leader, senior class social secretary, and active in Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Perry joined the Corps of Cadets, the student military organization at Texas A&M University, and received a commission upon graduation.
- Family - Married to Anita Thigpen, a nurse, on November 6, 1982. Two adult children, son Griffin (1983) and daughter Sydney (1986).
Son Griffin Perry, a graduate of Vanderbilt University, was employed in 2007 by investment banking firm UBS, raising controversial, conflict-of-interest questions.
Daughter Sydney Perry, a Texas A & M graduate, is employed by Radiant Outdoor, a Dallas-based advertising firm.
- Faith - Christian, conservative evangelical