Image 01 Image 03

A Case for Rick Perry

A Case for Rick Perry

The pool of Republican candidates just keeps growing, and voters are beginning to vet stances and pick sides. In an economy burdened by a $14.4 trillion debt and over 9% unemployment, Americans want someone new at the helm who can turn this sinking ship around. It’s almost funny how one man, who hasn’t even announced his candidacy or even said for sure he’s running, stole much of the thunder from the New Hampshire debate.

With his unabashed conservatism and long record of fiscal success, Texas Governor Rick Perry might just be the man for the job.

Why I’ll be volunteering for Rick Perry

Perry is certainly intriguing. A captivating speaker who can work a crowd like no other, Perry inspires unwavering enthusiasm among his supporters. His speech at the Republican Leadership Conference left the roaring crowd chanting, “Run, Rick, run!”

But he’s not just flash. Having served as a Texas State Representative, Commissioner of Agriculture, Lieutenant Governor, Governor for an unprecedented ten years, and Chairman of the Republican Governors Association for two terms, Perry certainly has the experience – both legislative and executive – desired in a presidential candidate. Throughout his career, he has been one of the most outspoken and effective champions of limited government, free market economic principles, and common-sense laws that benefit people, not politicians.

Thanks to the solid fiscal conservatism Perry has advocated in the past ten years as Governor of the Lone Star State, Texas was the last to enter the recession and the first out. Perry credits Texas’ remarkable economic stability to “keeping taxes low and regulations predictable, and maintaining a fair legal system.” Since he took office in 2001, Texas has created over 700,000 new jobs – more than any other state – and over a third of all new jobs in the past year. The country’s top exporter, Texas remains one of the largest economies in the world and is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other state. The state’s healthy job market is drawing folks from all across the country, attracted by the business-friendly environment and the lack of personal income tax. The state has a balanced budget, but it also has a $9 billion rainy day fund, just in case.

He’s also a strong social conservative, having recently introduced legislation requiring women seeking abortions to have a sonogram beforehand. Perry also backed bills to eliminate sanctuary cities and require photo identification to vote. His support for gun rights prompted one company to make a special handgun in his honor.

Perry’s Texas has a history of reforming and shrinking government and bureaucracy, from tort reform to a less intrusive regulatory environment. He’s not shy about defending the Tenth Amendment against challenges from the EPA, President Obama, and others who threaten states’ rights.

In short, Rick Perry is everything Barack Obama is not. And that’s exactly what voters want.

Concerns about Perry

Despite his unmatched economic successes in Texas, some have concerns about a potential Perry campaign. Is he electable? His strengths may help him win the Republican primary, but do those strengths become a challenge in the general election?

The left will slam Perry for almost everything he’s done, including for once being a Democrat (albeit a Texas Democrat, which 20 years ago was still pretty conservative). But one of Perry’s most contentious legislative initiatives this session is education spending. Scroll through any newspaper’s website and you’ll find articles slamming the governor for cutting education spending and costing thousands of teachers’ jobs. There’s a lot of misinformation about this out there: spending on public education is actually increasing. The increase is simply not as large as school districts had hoped for, as the state has had to cut the total budget back across the board.

Some on the right will slam Perry for being too moderate. There are two particular policy decisions that have drawn fire from conservatives and, while not exactly hot-button issues, seem inconsistent with his limited-government philosophy and threaten to erode his support base. In 2007, Perry signed an executive order requiring that all sixth-grade girls receive a vaccine to prevent HPV and cervical cancer, citing economic and health benefits. Though the order allowed parents to opt out, most opponents said mandating the vaccine stepped on parents’ toes and was a government over-reach into family decision-making. “I always stand for life,” Perry said without apology in defense of this initiative, which was overturned by the legislature.

Still others objected to Perry’s former plans to use eminent domain to create the Trans-Texas Corridor, a 4,000-mile shipping pathway including toll roads, rail lines, and utility lines. Intended to improve transportation of commercial goods with minimal expenditure of taxpayer money, the part public, part private infrastructure project sparked heated criticism. The plan was reworked into smaller projects in 2009 and scrapped in 2011 in response to public outcry over the intended acquisition of land, involvement of private companies, and potential for heavy tolls. Perry still defended the decision: “I don’t think it was a mistake at all…we had to come up with some concepts and some ideas of how to move people effectively and efficiently.”

And despite his continually putting pressure on the Obama administration to secure the Texas-Mexico border, not all conservatives in the state are pleased with the governor’s lack of support for Arizona’s tougher immigration stance, which he said “would not be the right direction for Texas.”

Perry is a controversial figure – you either love him or you really, really don’t. The term “Texas fatigue” is getting thrown around a lot – many people don’t want another good ol’ southern boy in the White House, another Bush (regardless of the fact that his policies don’t resemble Bush’s in the slightest). His southern drawl and almost brazen conservatism turn a lot of folks off; some say he’s just too Texas to take seriously. Even if he did win the Republican primary, some doubt he could win the general election.

The verdict

Love him or hate him, Perry injects excitement into everything he does. And though he may be as polarizing as President Obama, he gets the job done. Perry’s made a few mistakes – everyone has – but in the grand scheme of things, he’s succeeded far, far more than he’s sinned against conservatism.

As a proud Texan, I’ll admit I’m partial to my governor (and will gladly support him if he decides to run), but I’d say his chances are pretty good. He already has a diverse group of supporters, from the Hispanic House Republicans of Texas to twenty Arkansas state representatives and a fledgling Students for Rick Perry coalition, and more. Support is growing by the day.

Under Perry’s leadership, Texas has prospered like no other state. Isn’t it time we could say the same thing about America?


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


First of all, I’ve really looking forward to more posts from you!

As a Texan,I too love Rick Perry. If he runs I will definitely be a volunteer for his campaign.

Run, Rick, run.

Nice balanced analysis. Perry’s “unabashed conservatism” is refreshing.

Minorcan Maven | June 21, 2011 at 9:28 am

Yeah! My heart has looked forward to Palin come and set the place on fire…but, now I have spent time researching Perry, and have come to the same conclusion as what you have said. But, I don’t now what to do if Palin does decide to run. I hope they don’t both run. My husband is voting for Perry. He likes him, respects him. He likes Palin, too and is hoping she will work on highlighting issues and reallyhelping set the tone as she did last year. 2012 is so important…and NO ONE does that quite like her!

LukeHandCool | June 21, 2011 at 9:46 am

Very informative!

Is it me, or does Perry’s voice sound a lot like Bush’s?

Four years or more of hearing that would drive the left crazy!

LukeHandCool (who wonders if that would help a number of lefties make good on their pledge to move to Canada or Europe).

Sounds OK, but I see no reason to abandon Palin. She has no reason to announce yet; the film and the email dump are enough to keep her in the public eye. So of course she won’t, but that doesn’t mean she’s not running. If she ultimately decides not to run, then I’ll go looking for another candidate, and Perry, Pawlenty, and Cain would be the most obvious places to look.

[…] Katie Thompson, blogging at Cornell Law Prof Bill Jacobson’s site, makes the case for Rick Perry. […]

Wait till the left, the Democrats, the Obama machine and the lamestream media finish Alinskying him and we’ll see what’s left of him.

I voted for Rick Perry and he is good on jobs and economy but very weak on border security and immigration issues. He says one thing in the campaign and then throws it out the window after election. Look at his retoric on border security. After the election he completely walked away from his promises. If he is the Republican candidate I’ll vote for him but we can do a lot better.

Charles Curran | June 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

My biggest concern is his stance on the border. Like Bush, I think that he trys to curry to much favor with ‘Hispanics’. I must admit that when Rush played a lot of sound bites from his speech, I really liked what I heard. That’s also what scares me. I have heard a lot of Texans say that he will talk a good game just to get elected.

If Perry survives his leftist proctology exam he might end up the GOP compromise candidate. I still need to know more about him.

“Ron Paul was on Fox News on Thursday and said if voters are looking for change they shouldn’t look to fellow Texan Rick Perry.”

“Perry is “identified with the previous [George W. Bush] administration, and very much the status quo,” Paul, 75, said on “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” a news program Perry had appeared on just Wednesday.”


Limbaugh has been highlighting Perry for a while and urging him to run.

Katie, good roundup.

I have been reading the articles on the web since the buzz started about Rick. I was amazed at how quickly the long knives came out, bashing him. Of course, many of them started with “I am a Texan and I don’t like Rick Perry” where they go on to bash him over a)the TTC b)Gardisil (which was recommended by the feds) c)good ole’ boy politics c)corruption (unproven) d) he’s a Bilderburg e) he was a Democrat who campaigned for Al Gore in 1988 and the worst was that Rick Perry is actually gay and his wife left him because of it but only got back with him to save his political career (the worst kind of slime, IMHO)

Now, I understand there are Austin Dems (Katie, and all Texans know what I mean by that) who don’t like Perry because he is not a big entitlement guy. But every one of the dissenters seemed to have the same talking points, some of them listed as if they had received them in a memo or email from opposition groups and were simply reprinting them. MoveOn/OFA, perhaps?

Yes, the TransTexas Corridor was a monumental endeavor. But one of the problems it address was the heavy traffic on the I-35 corridor and the fact that I-35, due to the traffic, is one of the deadliest interstates in the nation. And the concept was that if private companies built these highways, the taxpayer would not be put on the hook for paying for roads they did not use. Oklahoma is full of toll roads that you can avoid if you don’t want to pay the cost.

Gardisil was recommended by the Feds, and parents could op-out with ease. It was after Perry ordered it as part of the vaccination series that the studies came out against it. Not before. Consequently, the Legislature overruled Perry on the order. The ironic part is that HPV, and cervical cancer can lead to death, while we still vaccinate our children against measels, and other diseases that are NOT life threatening. Yet parents willing allow their children to be vaccinated against those diseases as a requirement for entering public schools. Having a child that was allergic to the measels vaccine (it would have caused him breathing problems) I didn’t understand the debate as I could not op-out of the measels vaccine without a doctor’s certificate, much harder than just signing the op-out for Gardisil.

Yes, Perry was a Democrat. But 20 years ago, Texas Democrats were more conservative than any northeastern Republican. In the ’80’s, if you lived in Texas, and were not a Democrat, people looked at you with suspicion. Perry, like Reagan, did not leave the Democrat Party, it left him with its sharp turn to the far left. Recently, a number of Texas Democrats have switched parties as the national Democrat Party no longer allows for politicians with strong moral values who believe in personal responsibily and small government. If you want to know how far left the D’s have turned, read John Kennedy’s speech to the New York businessmen’s association.

I am hoping that Rick gets in. And for those who will judge him because they don’t like Texas (although most of them have never lived here), well, we have already seen in 2008 how Americans no longer judge a candidate on their ability, but on their glitz and the ability to read from a teleprompter. Believe me, watching Obama try to debate Perry would be a thing of beauty.

The rumor is that if Perry gets in, Palin will stay out. I think she is sticking around to make sure there is a true conservative on the ticket. If no one rises to the challenge and the GOP tries to nominate Romney, for instance, she’s in. If Perry gets in, and she endorses him, he instantly becomes the frontrunner. Jonah Goldberg had a good pro and con bit in his G-file last week basically stating that he was a good solid conservative but that he, Jonah, did not look forward to defending the Texas swagger and Bush association that the Left will throw at him, that they will love that they finally get to run against a Texas governor.

Charles and DesotoBill, Perry has pushed Voter I.D. (against the Hispanic lobby), has demanded legislation that would end sanctuary cities (against the open-borders lobby), has not only put the TxNG on the border at high volume times, but now has the Texas Rangers Recon squads on the border, who btw, were recently fired on by Mexican cartel members from the Mexican side where, against D.C. rules, they fired back, wounding/killing three cartel members. Another incident happened in Mission, Texas last week where our Tx Rangers fired back.

Viator: I was surprised at Ron Paul’s statements about Perry. Perry has been at odds with the Bush element for a long time. In the last election, George/Barbara Bush, Karl Rove, and Karen Hughes all supported Kay Bailey Hutchison against Perry. The only legacy ties that Perry has with the Bush family is that he assumed the governor’s office when Bush, Jr. went to D.C. after being elected president.

Knowing Dr. Paul personally, I have seen the changes in him in the last 15 years. He is much more bombastic than he used to be. He once ran as a Libertarian but quickly switched back to the Republican Party when it was clear he was going to lose. Now he just says whatever comes into his mind and basically only garners the youth vote in Texas, except for the people in his district that are comfortable with him out of familiarity. He once was more like his son, who tempers his beliefs with reason. Dr. Paul no longer does that. I do agree with his Constitutional litmus test for legislation, but don’t be fooled by his “no pork” rhetoric. His district manages to get lots and lots of “pork”.
Perry has strong support among Tejanos. If you don’t know what a Tejano is, it is time to find out. The segment of our state that can trace their roots back to Texas during the days of the Alamo, understand that illegal immigration affects their neighborhoods more than any other. They also understand that bullets fired from the Mexican side of the border could have just as well landed in their yards, hitting one of their children, instead of the El Paso City Hall. Congressman Conseco, who defeated the radical Ciro Rodriquez, was elected in a primarily Hispanic district as his district comprises a large number of counties that are along the border. Conseco is a Republican.

I think this is a very fair analysis. There are a couple of things that need to be brought to the discussion.
First, the position of Governor in TX is mostly a neutered post. From what I understand the real power is in the Lt Gov and Speaker of the House posts. Unfortunately, we found this out the hard way during the 8 years of W. W had very little in way of working relationships with the GOP led Congress. There was very little effort in creating a strong liason relationship with Congress. As a result, W appeared tone-deaf to complaints.
Will Rick Perry be susceptible to making the same mistakes? I don’t know but talking is one thing and actions speak louder than words. We bought the mantra that help was on the way in 2001. I would say 4 years were pretty good but the last 4 were abysmal.

The other issue is a potential $27Billion deficit. It appears the TX legislature has been kicking certain issues down the road and the 2013 budget will be a huge test of Perry’s fiscal resolve. It should be noted the budget in TX is done in 2 year increments. I think Governor Perry needs to address these issues before I start buying the hype.

OK, not to beat a dead horse – I’m going to again pose the question I had for you on the introduction thread the Prof posted earlier:

“I was really excited about Gov. Perry until he signed that onerous Bill 1451 put up by the animal rights kooks. This bill will not improve animal welfare in Texas and will, in fact, make it harder for responsible breeders. Gov. Perry has made a lot of enemies across the country with that move. Every breed club, the AKC, every reputable rescue group, and every dog club I’m in contact with fought this bill. Maybe you could find someone in his organization to explain his thinking on this bill? The only people he made happy with that bill was HSUS and PETA.”

Perry should do some research on Santorum’s federal bill in 2005 that PETA and the HSUS were pushing and see the blow back from the animal industry. I think Santorum’s subsequent defeat might have stemmed from that debacle. I hope Gov. Perry educates himself to the animal rights groups’ real agenda – the end of private ownership of all animals.

Spartan, the $27 billion deficit was a PROJECTED deficit. But since Texas has a balanced budget amendment, that deficit has to be addressed. And the governor does not write the budget, the Texas legislature does, and it is his to sign, or to veto, if there are not enough cuts to balance the budget. If Perry vetoes the proposed budget, it goes back to the drawing board.

Perry has insisted that the school districts become more responsible with the taxpayer’s dollars. Considering that the administration/teacher ratio is often 1.3/1, there is an overload in administration staff that needs to be addressed. Also, the Red Apple Project has shown how administrators (not just Superintendents, but those who work in the administrative offices of school districts) earn more than teachers, this is a concern. We don’t need 20 people working in the office and 15 teachers. In my own school district, with less than 2,000 students, the school board (all Democrats) voted to give the Superintendent a salary of over $150,000 a year, administration staff make roughly 20% more than teachers, and it wound up $2 million in the red.

He’s an Aggie – ’nuff said 😉

Seriously, though – this lifelong Texan has been very happy with Perry for her Governor. I hope I don’t have to choose between Perry and Palin – I’m hoping they’ll share the ticket….

Cowboy Curtis | June 21, 2011 at 11:08 am

A few thoughts:
1) If he had some dark skeleton in his closet, the TX democrats would have found it by now. They want the governorship just like in any other state, and it isn’t like they’ve been saving it for 10 years just in case he one day ran for president.

2) The only people who will care that he’s a Texas governor are people who are never going to vote republican anyway.

3) I really would like to see an honest, in-depth article about his position on illegal immigration (hint hint NRO). What he’s said vs what he’s done vs what he plans. It’s a deal breaker for me (republicans who are squishy on that invariably prove squishy on everything else), and I’d like to see something about it other than what comes from “internet dude in the comments”.

The elite pundits say that Perry’s Texas drawl will remind people too much of George W. Bush — and that this will be a drawback, because Americans won’t want another Texas Governor so soon.

I say that, in 2012, Obama’s Economy will make people very nostalgic for the Bush Economy of 5% unemployment. They will flock to the booths to vote Perry.

I am a Palin-supporting Democrat. However, Perry would be aces by me, too.

retire05 — You leave more out on gardasil than you include in your effort to be a Perry apologist.

1) Actually, the executive order did not include much of an opt-out provision.

2) Perry and his staff initially indicated that he would not abide by any legislative directive to discontinue the program, because he didn’t believe the legislature had the authority to overrule the executive order. he only changed his tune when legislation was passed in both houses by more than the margin needed for impeachment.

3) The logic behind vaccines as a condition of admission to schools is that certain diseases are likely to be passed in a classroom setting. Speaking as a teacher, I’d like to point out that since HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, it is unlikely to be passed in the classroom. Interestingly enough, there are a number of vaccines (meningitis, for example) that Perry did not seek to mandate, despite the fact that they are more easily passed in the classroom.

Cowboy Curtis | June 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

Spartan, W’s problems didn’t stem from being a weak executive (he wasn’t). His problem was that with a few very specific exceptions, he wasn’t a conservative. Me? I don’t want congress and the president getting along, they spend lots of money when that happens.

RymesWithRight, if your attempt was to insult by calling me a Perry “apologist”, you failed miserable. And if you want to hang on to the Gardisil thing, and vote for say Romney, with is record on RomneyCare, gay marriage and his flip-flop on abortion, have at it.

Now, if you as a teacher, are not aware that children in the 6th grade are engaging in unprotected sex, especially when some of those 6th graders are older than the norm due to being the children of illegal immigrants, you are a fool. You have tried to use your bonafids as a teacher before when you were debating me. Frankly, considering the shape of some of our schools, I wouldn’t go around bragging about that if I were you.

Charles Curran | June 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

If her first post is any indication of what will follow, I for one look forward to them. Keep em coming.

A couple of observations:

– The rumor referenced by AHLondon that Palin is going to endorse Perry was started by Bachmann’s people in Iowa and South Carolina. No stock should be placed in this “story.”

– Yes, the Perry administration has a good record on job creation. Some will have issues with the Perry administration’s record on immigration and other areas.

– For others the problem is that he made a promise to Texas voters during the 2010 Republican Gubernatorial Texas Primary and then again before he was sworn in for his third term that he would serve out his full term and not run for President.

Some will say, “so what, politicians have made and broken this sort of promise before and it has not hurt how the electorate views them.”

Well, that may true, but look what happens when the individual is elected. More than “one promise” tends to go out the window.

Up to the individual voter, but if Republican primary voters are seeking “not a fundamental transformation, but rather a fundamental restoration of America,” then Perry is not your person.

Retire05 — I wasn’t trying to insult you, merely classify you appropriately. Sadly, you failed miserably in your attempt to smear me as a Romney supporter — I’m still waiting for John Bolton to jump in.

Also, you missed my point entirely. Vaccines for school are intended to prevent diseases from being passed in a classroom setting, which is the reason that measles and and the vaccines for those other diseases you pooh-pooh are mandated — they are easily passed on in a communal setting like a classroom through casual contact. HPV is not passed casually, but rather is passed almost exclusively through sexual contact — something that generally does not happen in the classroom. But based upon your logic, you might consider giving serious support to this satirical piece I wrote on the Gardasil controversy four years ago, when Perry set out to play doctor with the little girls of Texas —

Given Perry’s willingness to engage in “stork of the pen, law of the land” tactics for policymaking, I’m surprised you are not an Obama supporter. After all, that seems to be his modus operandi, too. As for me, I’ll keep looking for a candidate who wants to be limited by the Constitution, rather than operate as a divine-right king.

john.frank, and what would you have Perry do? Sue the EPA over its power grab against the states? Done that. Promote Voter I.D.? Done that. Push to end sanctuary cities? Done that. Support the legislation in light bulb protection? Done that.

If saying you would serve out your term and not run for POTUS was a disqualifier, then Obama would have not won.

Oh, and Perry just put the “TSA groping” bill back on the calender today. Perhaps you don’t consider trying to restore 4th Amendment protected rights as “a fundamental restoration of America.”

My guess is you would not vote for Perry in any instance.

Sorry for the typo there — that should be “stroke of the pen”.

And by the way, retire05 — you couldn’t hack it for 15 minutes in a classroom, so I’ll ignore your advice. Just remember — “Those who can, teach; those who can’t, put down teachers.”

Subotai Bahadur | June 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Just signed up here after lurking for a long time in the old incarnation. IN RE Perry:

1) Based on her stands, and on her willingness to take the fight to the enemy [and they are this country’s enemy] I will support Sarah Palin until and unless she rules herself out of running. If the Republican Party forces another DIABLO down our throats as a nominee, and Sarah goes third party I am with her. If she loses in what appears to be a fair fight, I will support pretty much any non-DIABLO Republican nominee over Obama. Support = money and time. I am retired, and I have helped run a county level presidential campaign before.

2) That said, I am willing to look at Perry as a second choice. Texas is looking pretty good right now. I understand, but have not confirmed, that Perry has said disparaging things about Arizona’s SB-1070, which is rapidly becoming the template for states to deal with illegal aliens over the objections of the Left. This, if true, is troubling. Anyone have facts with links?

@john.frank, Actually, I got the info from RedState.
He claims to have gotten the info from both Governors’ people. He tends to have good inside info. And it wasn’t that she’d endorse, it was that she wouldn’t run. If that is the case, then I think she is likely to endorse him.
My husband and I were chatting about this this morning. Neither Perry nor Palin, nor Ryan for that matter, are considering running because they think it would be cool to be President. They are considering because they want to put the country back on the right course. In other words, they won’t all run, beat each other up, and hurt each other’s chances. Palin is hanging on the sidelines to make sure a conservative is in the race. If Perry is in, she won’t compete against him. I think she sees that she has un-moveable negatives–that slander campaign worked–that would make it difficult for her to win. That said, she will stick around to pull the field and subsequent candidate to the right. Or, if she is the only conservative willing, then she will do it herself. Perry and Palin want a conservative for President. Which one is a matter of who can win, not ego.

john.frank ……. yup


[…] PERRY pt 2: I made positive comments about Rick Perry yesterday. Katie Thompson does so today. […]

Thanks for this appreciation of Perry. However, I think your statement:

“Perry is a controversial figure – you either love him or you really, really don’t” is an unnecessary and unjustified rhetorical flourish.

I don’t “love him”–yet; on the other hand, my attitude is certainly NOT one of “really, really” NOT liking him. (Sorry for the double negative.) I’m open to being convinced that Perry is just what conservatives need in this presidential election. And, I suspect, that many other conservatives are also open to, and looking for, the right man or woman. It is up to Perry to make the sale–if he is so inclined.

Captain Obvious | June 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

FOR: In-state tuition for illegals

It’s easy to be visible against armed drug cartels, unless one thinks going after Bin Laden was also somehow a “gutsy call.” Political courage means having the principles to do the right thing on the UNpopular issues. We need a President who won’t collapse like a house of cards when the wind changes.

Really nicely done.

Waiting for Rick Perry

“In my view, the problem with the Perry boomlet is not money, name recognition, a ticking clock or even the idea it is still too soon after George W. Bush’s presidency for another Texas governor to run. It is whether the candidate is himself really committed to the idea. Like Daniels, who kept his party on the edge of their collective seats for months until finally deciding against running, so far Perry doesn’t seem to really want to be president. That may be, as many rightly noted after Daniels pulled out, a sign of sanity, but it is also one that demonstrates a lack of the kind of relentless determination to prevail a presidential candidate must have. The point is, if this late in the game you are still doing soul-searching about whether you want to run and whether your supporters have the ability to pull off such a massive task, then maybe you really don’t want to do it.”


No Fire in the belly.

Perry’s statement on Arizona’s SB1070:

“…the focus must remain on border security and the federal government’s failure to adequately protect our borders…there has been much debate over immigration policy in Washington and what has been implemented in Arizona. I fully recognize and support a state’s right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas…some aspects of the law turn law enforcement officers into immigration officials by requiring them to determine immigration status during any lawful contact with a suspected alien, taking them away from their existing law enforcement duties, which are critical to keeping citizens safe.”

Cowboy Curtis | June 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I think he’s fine hanging back for a while. He’s already got the Iowa framework in place, aka Newt’s former staff. Given the Tea Partification of the republican electorate and its profound skepticism of the political class as a whole, with the exception of Palin diehards, I don’t see most folks tying themselves into anyone anytime soon. Which is to say, they’ll jump ship and join another team just as soon as they find one that better suits them.

I don’t mean that as a criticism- I think the Tea Party is finally, and properly, viewing politicians as the expendable commodities that they are (which, btw, is how politicians look at voters). Loyalties and personal investment in candidates is a mistake- find the candidate who represents your views, will implement those views, and can win. And that is where the conservative movement needs to be. They’re not your friends, they are vehicles for policy. We need to be ruthlessly focused and practical, and as much as I hate to say it, sentimentality about particular candidates has to go. We can’t afford it, the nation can’t afford it. I like Sarah Palin, and I like her story, but if at some point I don’t think she can win…well, sorry Sarah. Same goes for T-Paw, Perry, Cain, et al.

We have to win this one. And an unsentimental, ruthless candidate selection is what’s called for.

Five Points in Perry’s Favor

1. Jobs: Texas’s economic record really is about 80 percent of Perry’s appeal
2. Perry really is serious about this Tenth Amendment stuff
3. He’s a conservative before he’s a Republican
4.he doesn’t make a big deal out of his military service. He’s been pretty tight-lipped on his foreign-policy views, but there is good reason to hope that his commitment to limited government and balanced budgets might put a damper on the Republican party’s more adventuresome foreign-policy tendencies.
5. He has never lost an election.


VetHusbandFather | June 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Katie, great post and good discussion starter. I’ve liked reading everyone’s comments here, and look forward to seeing Perry in a debate eventually.


I really like your observation/comparison of Perry to Daniels. Perhaps, Perry will be known as Hamlet on the Pecos.
I also noticed your post about Jobs being the #1 reason for Perry’s appeal. I can’t help but remember another candidate for President who seemed quite attractive because of a booming economy in his state. Let’s just hope there are no photo-ops of Perry wearing a tank helmet.

For you youngsters on this board, I am talking about Mike Dukakis. The Duke took a lot of credit for the Massachusetts Miracle. I hope Perry does a better job of explaining what policies led to the TX growth. The Duke was unable to explain the MA Miracle; mostly because the seeds were planted before he returned to ofice in 1983 and the Miracle occurred in spite of him.

[…] Read the rest here. Tweet […]

pyromancer76 | June 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Very fine post. Very helpful comments. In addition, I would like to see more historical detail on Perry’s governance. This time around, I only want a governor. We are in terrible trouble and need an experienced person at the helm. No one has more depth of experience than Perry. Is he the best one? All Republican candidates declared so far and a few not (yet) declared will be far better than the unvetted failure who is our current President, but governors have THE experience. The candidate also must have “the fire in the belly”.

I want to listen to how well they speak about limited government, fiscal prudence, transparency and accountability, individual integrity and responsibility, and a responsible free market. The latter is the most important because we desperately need vigorous entrepreneurial growth and development. Fortunately, we have abundant natural energy resources to support renewed affluence.

After I listen to the good words of each Republican candidate, I want to see their records in detail. For example, do they have the strength to say no, to gain allies to help shut down a number of departments, prune all others, defund the UN, and inspire entrepreneurial inventiveness, for starters? I want much more detailed, nuanced research on each governor. More please, and faster. I thank Katie Thompson and all those who have helped so far in this most important enterprise.

RymesWithRight, I never said you were a Romney supporter. So perhaps a remedial reading course would serve you well. On top of that, pardon me if I am not impressed because you are a teacher. If you are a teacher, you are an arrogant one an I am sure your pupils could do better with someone a little less arrogant. As to surviving in your class, perhaps you could tell me what it is you teach? And if you are such a great teacher, then surely you would be able to, oh, I don’t know..TEACH?

And then of course, and right on cue, you throw out the zinger about being surprised I am not an Obama supporter. You see, I doubt you teach debate since you suck at it. But I do seem to remember something about you teaching at HISD. Perhaps that explains HISD’s extremely poor quality of students.

Now, I would assume you are looking for a candidate that is completely free of warts. Good luck. That candidate died on a cross almost 2,000 years ago. There hasn’t been one like Him since. All candidates have some things people will not like. The trick is to pick the one who most subscribes to the Constitution and its original intent. Perry fits that bill.

Rick Perry does not pass the conservative smell test.

“As a compassionate state, we know that for our children to succeed, they must not only be healthy, but educated. The future leaders of our two nations are learning their fractions and their ABC’s in classrooms all along this border. Immigrants from around the world are being taught in Texas classrooms, and our history is rich with examples of new citizens who have made great contributions. We must say to every Texas child learning in a Texas classroom, ‘we don’t care where you come from, but where you are going, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get there.’ And that vision must include the children of undocumented workers. That’s why Texas took the national lead in allowing such deserving young minds to attend a Texas college at a resident rate. Those young minds are a part of a new generation of leaders, the doors of higher education must be open to them. The message is simple: educacion es el futuro, y si se puede.”

Arkansas kids have to pay higher out-of-state tuition but “the children of undocumented workers” get in-state rates. I personally don’t know any true conservative who uses the liberal code phrase, “undocumented worker.” Perry obviously does not have the overburdened Texas taxpayer in mind when he encourages college registration instead of righteous deportation.

gad-fly, no, Texans are not happy about illegals paying in state tuition. But then, Texas is not the only state that gives illegals instate tuition.

Also, Perry has been bringing up the subject of university tuitions. He feels that no state university should cost a student more than $10K a year. And he seems to be demanding that state universities justify their cost. Perhaps that is due to his being an Aggie.

Also, could you give a link for the Perry quotes?

“Just remember — “Those who can, teach; those who can’t, put down teachers.””

Incorrect. Those who can, DO. Those who can’t, teach. (and those who can’t teach, administrate.)

Nothing wrong with a good teacher, as long as you don’t make the mistake of thinking that makes you an expert.

I’ve heard more about Perry that I like than dislike. No one is perfect, but if he is nominated I will vote for him without regrets (unlike the last guy, you know the one – he ran with Palin).

Subotai Bahadur | June 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm

publiuspen June 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Perry’s statement on Arizona’s SB1070:

“…the focus must remain on border security and the federal government’s failure to adequately protect our borders…there has been much debate over immigration policy in Washington and what has been implemented in Arizona. I fully recognize and support a state’s right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas…some aspects of the law turn law enforcement officers into immigration officials by requiring them to determine immigration status during any lawful contact with a suspected alien, taking them away from their existing law enforcement duties, which are critical to keeping citizens safe.”

That worries me. I am a retired Peace Officer. First, by Federal law from back in the Clinton administration, all Peace Officers nationwide are authorized to enforce immigration law. Talk otherwise during the battle over SB 1070 was deliberate misdirection. Second, the determination of immigration status in the law is not only for “suspected aliens”, but for everybody you make lawful contact with, regardless of race, color, gender, or whatever. And it does not take a whole h**l of a lot of extra time at all. Anyone you make lawful contact with, you should be doing a check for wants and warrants on. It is embarrassing if it comes out later that you had someone and let them go without checking and finding out that they are an escaped serial killer. This check requires a valid ID [which in Arizona everyone above childhood is required by law to have on their person off their property if asked by a Peace Officer]. No ID, then you dig deeper. If they have a valid ID, since in theory illegals can’t get them, they have passed the immigration status check. If they don’t you have to find out who they are anyway, and dispatch can do the checking. As an additional note, by Federal law, all legal resident aliens are required on pain of deportation to have their “green card” [actually blue and white now]in their possession at all times. Legal resident aliens not only will have proof of status on them, if they don’t they can be deported.

The terms of SB 1070 do not take cops away from other duties, but they do make it so that if illegal aliens are stopped lawfully in the course of normal duties, they will soon be in the hands of ICE. Which is where they belong.

Which leaves me wondering if Perry was misinformed [and he should not have been before taking a deliberate public stand] or if he was blowing smoke where it should not be. Either possibility is troubling.

To those of you with border concerns: Yes, it’s a problem but the Governor is not ignoring it:

Governor Rick Perry Dispatches Elite Texas Rangers to Border With Mexico For War With Drug Cartels

Obama: “But… I inherited a Bush economy!”

Rick Perry: “So did I.”

I’m confused. Texas is bringing in jobs — and apparently also bringing in people with them. According to the numbers on the below website, its unemployment rate still ranks up there. Can someone please explain these numbers?

Economically, is Rick Perry another big business Republican, (like Bush or Romney)? Can anyone speak to this? True fiscal conservatism and foreign policy issues seem to me to be more important for the federal government (versus state government) than social conservatism, where frankly, I want hands-off. (The gardisil thing really bothers my libertarianism. This is catering to drug company profiteering.)

(P.S. my dream ticket would be Sarah Palin and Allen West).

retire05 — Again with the ad hominem. And not even accurate ad hominem. I’m done with you.


Not only is Texas growing jobs, it is growing in population. About 1,000 people a day are moving to Texas, yet the unemployment rate today is at 8% (per US Bureau of Labor Statistics), well below the national average. And it has been at or below the national average for the last 52 weeks.

PS Like Allen West, too!


The Rick perry quote that i used is at:

I don’t care for anyone giving illegals a free pass, so your point about “other states’ is wasted on me. I am also leary when only 9% of Texans favor a Perry run for President in a recent GOP poll. After all, Texans have been “living” with the man for eleven years.

gad-fly, the Houston Chronicle? Why didn’t you just use the New York Times? It’s no more left wing than the Chronicle.

Yep, I’ve been living with Perry for the last 10 years. My spouse still has a job, my home is still worth what it was three years ago, my property taxes have gone DOWN although my appraisal has gone up, I still pay no state income tax, state sales tax is still 6.25%, my car plates cost $43/per year, I still pay no taxes on groceries or medication, the Homestead tax exemption is still in place, and 100% disabled veterans in my state pay no property taxes (thanks, Rick Perry).

Our state budget for the last two years was basically the same as it was for 2000 (adjusted for inflation) although our population has grown 21% since 2000.

But I guess you don’t like those things so please, feel free to pay more taxes, sell your home for less than its worth, pay taxes on your groceries. And be unimpressed that a man who has not even thrown his hat in the ring is doing better than Gringrich, Pawlenty, Santorum and Huntsman.

Captain Obvious | June 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Remember folks, if you criticize any specific policy, it can only because you are ignorant of other totally unrelated policies which are praise-worthy. You are not allowed to contribute ad-hoc towards a comprehensive and complete discussion, because this might offend some people who assume that omission of encyclopedic completeness in each comment is evidence of a quest for ideological purity and epistemic closure. A failure to immediately agree that someone’s preferred candidate is the “best” candidate is a de facto slander of that candidate’s entire state. Failure to recognize this can only be due to the slanderer being part of some jealous sabotage by residents of other states, who are by definition all liberals. All such assumed liberals are instantly worthy of personal attack.

Remember also, it is perfectly logical to assume that in a system containing thousands of people, if it does not operate optimally, then no one person could possibly be doing their specific job correctly or well, and they are all equally culpable for the systemic failure regardless of their position. Conversely, it is perfectly logical that in such a system that does perform relatively well, the existence of fault tolerance should be ignored and high level actors should be assumed to have performed perfectly and therefore deserve all credit due to their position in the system. Similarly, showing voters you are against widely-unpopular violent crime is politically brave, but being soft on partially-popular non-violent crime is not politically cowardly.

That brand of logic also extends to noting the age of participants in sexual acts which occur OUTSIDE the classroom as some kind of refutation to the idea that vaccinations are important for diseases actually transmitted INSIDE the classroom.

Overall, as long as an effort is made to insult people, this makes otherwise tenuous assertions incontrovertible.

Today’s lesson was brought to you by moonbat logic, which should be recognized as such wherever it appears.

And now for some negatives:

I am not sure if all of these are legitimate reasons, but the point of debate is to ferret out those issues. Like with any candidate there is the good, the bad and the ugly. The important issue is do the negatives outweigh the positives?

The following are 14 reasons why Rick Perry would be a really, really bad president….

#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.

#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.

#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?

#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.

#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.

#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.

#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president. In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.

#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.

#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….
•  We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.
•  We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.
•  We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

#10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007. Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.

#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.

#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.

#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.

#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with an untested and unproven vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light. Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do. According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when “apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck’s hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.”


The Chron did not say the words in the quotation – Governor Rick Perry was the culprit. Logic man! Can you comprehend logical thinking? Perry needs to learn to pronounce “”

You also have a way of twisting the poster’s remarks. This time you want to convince me that your wife’s longevity on the job is due to the good works of Gov. Perry — I don’t think so! Many states have lower taxes and Texas is certainly not at the bottom. But you still have simply ignored my point that only 9% of Republicans polled want Rick Perry to be their next President.

Captain Obvious | June 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm

RE: 14 reason’s against Perry, many of those are misleading when not accounting for the influx of population especially #8, #11, and #13.

I have no idea why Babs would uncritically repeat any statistic pushed by Paul Krugman…
She should know something is amiss … the man is practically allergic to being right about anything… but when it comes to #9, Texas education is actually excellent when your statistics account for demography. See Iowahawk’s dismantling of the Krugman “Texas education stinks” canard here:
and here:

@dscott, @captain obvious, @all

Best source to validate/invalidate Texas stats is All well-sourced.

RE: 14 reason’s against Perry, many of those are misleading when not accounting for the influx of population especially #8, #11, and #13.

Which is why I’m not sure if ALL the reasons are legitimate. Texas population increased 21% I believe. So some kind of proportional increase in government expenses must be anticipated on top of cumulative compounding of inflation. But does that add to a 90% increase?

Captain Obvious | June 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Indeed, not agreeing nor disagreeing with point #1, just helping to ferret out a little more context =) Thanks publiuspen, will take a gander.

Katie – excellent post! You fill me with hope for the future. I hope there are more smart young conservatives out there just like you.

Fair points have been made regarding Gov. Perry’s negatives, mistakes, screw-ups, etc. But I ask everyone to think “big picture” on this. There is no such thing as a flawless candidate. Perry is making people feel good about being conservatives. More than that, he’s making people feel good about being Americans. American business and industry – to use a good ‘ol Texas rodeo analogy – are penned up in the chute, afraid of what lies ahead in Obama’s America. President Perry will throw open that gate and set the American economy free again. THAT is what we need. That’s what will pull us out of this hole and get the country back on the road to prosperity.

To the Perry skeptics, or undecideds: Google any recent Perry speech. Try not to get goosebumps listening to him. Try not to feel – for the first time in a long time – absolute, unapologetic pride in America and hope for the future.

We’ve apologized enough for who we are. Under a President Rick Perry, our days of apologizing will come to a swift and decisive end.

Katie, Im in the DFW area- I’d be honored to volunteer with a Rick Perry Presidential campaign, should the need arise. And here’s hoping it does!

dscott, InfoWars? Really? You are using the site of a 9-11 truffer and a radical nut which is what Alex Jones is? You must really be grasping at straws to sink so low.

To begin with, your #l say Perry was governor in 2000. Yeah, for about three weeks in December, 2000. Alex never bothers to mention that. Nor does he bother to mention that if you took that 2000 budget of $49 billion, put it into todays dollars, it would come to $64 billion. Add a 21% increase in population and you would have to reach a budget of $78 billion to equal the same spending.

Now, the budget for 2009-2011 was around $172 billion, $86 billion a year. Considering that the newest budget reduces that amount by $21 billion, to $75.5 billion/year. That is less than the 2000 budget, allowing for inflation.

Get back to us when you have some real information from someone who is not a 9-11 nut.

dscott, InfoWars? Really? You are using the site of a 9-11 truffer and a radical nut which is what Alex Jones is? You must really be grasping at straws to sink so low.

I submit this question for your consideration: Is it better now to address the faux charges of the left when Perry is NOT officially a candidate OR play the defense when he is declared? The left loves nothing better than to keep their opponents defending themselves against baseless charges. The fact the left attempted a pre-emptive strike shows their fear but also their stupidity since they now used up most of their ammunition by leaving us time to respond. How many of you would rather have the practice test before the actual exam in order to get the flavor of the type of questions you will encounter? If Perry and his team aren’t prepared with this gift of pre-emptive criticism then he doesn’t have any business being a leader in the GOP.

dscott, if you think because the faux charges are coming out early, even before Governor Perry announces, that will cool the heels of the left, you are sadly mistaken. The baseless charges will continue, and will be aided by a liberal press.

Also, you didn’t present Alex Jones’ talking points as an example of what the radical left wingers are going to say. You presented them as an alternative to any praise that might be heaped on Perry. When you are disputing someone, you say “This is what so-and-so says, and here is where they are wrong.” You didn’t do that.

Let me know when you decide to be intellectually honest.

pyromancer76 | June 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Re Alinkkyite attacks and faux charges, let’s just keep telling the truth, the pros and the cons, according to the data. Let’s keep calling out the lies and smears for what they are. I think is a top site because of this policy; a science (plus other interests) site,, also grew exponentially because of this basic policy. Looking for truths, working with real data, and the scientific method go hand-in-hand.

Two further questions for Kathy — additional posts, if possible. First, if Rick Perry does not have to work as hard as other governors because of the “weak-governor” Texas model, with which policies (including limiting government)has he shown his ability to be intensely determined with detailed follow-up? Or have others done most of the work and he has been given the “glory”? (With respect, inspired leadership is a good thing.)

Second, as Chair of the Republican Gov. Assoc. since Nov 2010, what are his most important efforts. Has he been a leader in inclining independents towards Republicans, especially the TeaParty kind? If so, how? How can we measure his effectiveness?

Politico (11/12/10 — I know, I know, leftist leaning) wrote this about Perry taking over the Chair of the Republican Governors’ Association:

“It would be nearly impossible to raise money for the committee and help direct the gubernatorial contests in Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky while running for president.”

Captain Obvious | June 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Today’s lesson in reading comprehension: “I am not sure if all of these are legitimate reasons” equals “I am a low sinking, intellectually dishonest person, presenting these assertions uncritically as facts because I prefer them to any praise”

Remember kids, if you fail at reading comprehension, you can always insult the people who notice, which proves you’re smarter than them.

Today’s lesson in reading comprehension: “I am not sure if all of these are legitimate reasons” equals “I am a low sinking, intellectually dishonest person, presenting these assertions uncritically as facts because I prefer them to any praise”

Yeah, engaging in ad hominem attacks is intellectually honest…

If you don’t get that the independents and moderates will be the ones who determine the outcome of the elections in 2012 just as they did in 2010 you really don’t have anything to learn from me. The whole purpose of posting the 14 points is to knock them down now so we have our answers now and not come up them on the fly during the campaign when it begins in earnest. You only get one chance at first impressions and this doubly so in a political campaign where your opponents (liberals) have a track record of making false assertions to confuse the electorate. So you have a choice, you can grouse at me for making you investigate and debunk the charges now OR do can do the country a favor by not letting Obama yet again get away with telling people what they want to hear with no intention of delivering?

This is going to be one ugly campaign season with vicious charges and counter charges and lots of bold faced lies. That means strategically you can turn their perceived strength (false accusations) into their weakness by showing them over and over again (demonstrating) to be liars. You either gear up and participate to be part of the solution or sit there poo-pooing how no one is going to believe the crap that’s coming our way. The moderates and independents were completely snowed by such crap in the 2008 elections, it wasn’t the conservatives who fell for the liberal nonsense. Your choice. So far, Karl Rove you are not.

Captain Obvious | June 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Silly dscott, why can’t you just admit that “I’m not sure” = “I believe 100%”? Why do you have to double down on what you actually said, rather than trying to defend words put in your mouth? More remedial moonbat reading comprehension lessons for you! Prepare for more insults, you… reasonable contributor!!!