Former Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, announced in Addison, Texas earlier today that he was entering the presidential race. This isn’t a surprise to anyone, but just because he claims to be a Constitutional, Conservative Republican doesn’t mean that he deserves your vote. Before you decide to jump on the Rick Perry bandwagon, let’s look at the former Governor’s past history and where he stands on key issues we’re sure to face after 2016.
During his announcement, Perry started talking about the declining economy and taxes. Ironically he said, “we don’t have to resign ourselves to debt, decay and slow growth” when that’s exactly what he delivered to Texans just before his re-election in 2010. Let’s go over a few things Texans learned about Perry during that election.
Democratic candidate at the time, Bill White accused Governor Perry of doubling the debt since he took office in 2000. Politifact confirmed those accusations saying, “It’s clear the amount of state debt has more than doubled since Perry became governor.” Later that year, the Texas Tribune asked about his tax policy. The Governor responded by saying, “I’ve got a track record of that too. We don’t raise taxes.” Once again, Politifact helps shed some light on this issue concluding, “We rate this statement false.” Okay, so the State of Texas increased spending and raised taxes under Perry, what else is new? Surely, not all government spending is bad. If it helps the people of Texas, than it’s somewhat justified, right? The problem is it didn’t help Texans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2000-2010, the unemployment rate in Texas nearly doubled from 4.6% to 8.0%. Another astonishing fact, in 2010 Texas and Mississippi tied in the rankings for the State with the highest rate of minimum wage jobs. In the San Antonio News piece about these statistics, they referred to Texas as “The Minimum Wage State“.
Continuing with his recent announcement, Perry went on to say, “Yeah, it’s time for a reset. Time to reset the relationship between government and citizen!” I couldn’t agree more with that point, one problem, Rick Perry hasn’t ever really been a great advocate for individual liberty. Back in 2007, Governor Perry tried to pass an executive order requiring all girls entering the 6th grade to get the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. What’s even more disturbing is that the vaccine’s producers, Merck, “ranks among the governor’s biggest donors, giving his campaign at least $4 million over the past five years.” The effects of vaccinations have become a growing concern for many parents. I wonder how they’d feel about a presidential candidate with a history of not only taking money from Big Pharma, but one who’s also been willing to pass executive orders requiring them to take their products. Very disturbing indeed.
“We have seen what happens when we elect a president based on media acclaim rather than a record of accomplishment.” Yet another great quote from Perry’s speech earlier today. “This will be a show me, don’t tell me election, where voters will look past the rhetoric to the real record.” Not surprising, both of these comments can be applied directly to Rick Perry’s campaign, just not in the way he intended, I’m sure. With the Bush family’s past hovering over Jeb and establishment Republicans attacking Rand Paul for his efforts against the Patriot Act, Rick Perry has a real shot at becoming the party’s nominee for President. As voters, it’s up to us to make sure that doesn’t happen. Referring one last time to his announcement speech, “George Washington lived in service of a cause greater than self” and so, we must ask ourselves, is Rick Perry living in service of a cause greater than himself? I think not.