Pronk Pops Show 33, June 22, 2011: Segment 2: Rick Perry/Sarah Palin Republican Establishment Candidate Ticket vs. Ron Paul/Michele Bachmann Republican Constitutional Candidate Ticket for the 2012 Presidential Race–Vidoes

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Pronk Pops Show 33:June 22, 2011

Pronk Pops Show 32:June 15, 2011

Pronk Pops Show 31:June 8, 2011

Pronk Pops Show 30:June 2, 2011

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 22 (Part 2)-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22 (Part 1)

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1-9

Segment 2: Rick Perry/Sarah Palin Republican Establishment Candidate Ticket vs. Ron Paul/Michele Bachmann Republican Constitutional Candidate Ticket  for the 2012 Presidential Race–Videos


Alex Jones Talks About Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh

Gov. Rick Perry Decision on Presidential Run Likely to Come in July

Perry Will Think About Running For President.

Rick Perry For President?

Governor Rick Perry Names Rush Limbaugh Honorary Texan

Rush Limbaugh: Obama Is Most Afraid of Sarah Palin

Rush Details to Greta How to Beat Obama in 2012

Dick Morris on Sarah Palin’s experience as a reformer

Roundtable: The ‘Palin effect’ [NBC: 6-21-2011]

Sarah “Barracuda” Palin – A True Reformer With True Grit

Sarah Palin and Rick Perry bring the house down.

TX Governor Rick Perry a Fan Favorite for 2012

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Speaks to Republican Leadership Conference; Crowd Chants, “Run, Rick, Run!”

14 Reasons Why Rick Perry Would Be A Really, Really Bad President – Alex Jones Tv

Can Rick Perry fill GOP void? [NBC: 6-21-2011]

GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak assesses the candidacy of Rick Perry for President Gets Credit For Nudging Governor Rick Perry On Anti-TSA Bill

Texas Officials Punished & Embarrassed By TSA For “Opting Out” – Call Rick Perry! (512) 463-2000

Michael Reagan rates republican candidates for 2012


Texas Governor Rick Perry On Texas Border, Illegals, and the Obama administration


Texas Declares Sovereignty!

Michael Savage Interviews Texas Gov. Rick Perry on 10th Amendment – Part 1

Michael Savage Interviews Texas Gov. Rick Perry on 10th Amendment – Part 2

Alex Jones warns you about Sarah Palin

Ron Paul: Rick Perry Would Dilute the Establishment Vote

Ron Paul’s Full Speech at the Republican Leadership Conference (RLC 2011)


Ron Paul About The Secession Of Texas


Ron Paul – Republic of Texas

Mark Levin Interviews Michele Bachmann

Michael Savage Calls for a Bachmann-Romney 2012 Ticket!!! She’s a True Conservative Woman

Rep. Michele Bachmann Delivers Tea Party Response to State of the Union

Michele Bachmann Republican Presidential Debate Manchester New Hampshire June 13, 2011

Dave Elswick interviews Congresswoman Michele Backmann

Michele Bachmann: Taking Care of Business!

I fully expect Texas Governor Rick Perry to enter the 2012 Presidential race and should he win the nomination, select former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

I also expect that should Texas Congressman Ron Paul win the nomination that he will select Minnesota Congresswoman, Michele Bachman as his running mate.

What I would much prefer is for both the Texas Governor and Congressman to announce while they running, who they would select as their Vice-President candidate should they win the nomination to be the Republican nominee for President in 2012.

Governor Rick Perry has a much deserved reputation among conservatives in Texas as being soft or squishy on illegal immigration.

Since jobs will be the number one campaign issue, illegal immigration will also be an issue.

There are somewhere between 12 to 20 million illegal aliens employed in the United States.

These jobs could be performed by the more than 30 million Amercian citizens seeking full time employment.

Once it becomes known that Governor Perry is soft or squishy on illegal immigration, his popularity among conservative, libertarians and independents will fall rapidly.

The American people do not want a Republican Establishment Candidate for President of the United States such as Texas Governor Rick Perry.

The American people want a Republican Constitutionalist Candidate for President of the United States.

A Paul/Bachmann ticket will unite the conservative movement’s economic libertarians and social conservatives of the Republican Party and the grassroots Tea Party movement.

The Democratic and Republican Party establishments truly fear such a ticket for they know it is a winner with the American people.

The American people want and will elect Ron Paul as President and Michele Bachmann asVice President of the United States of America.

Background Articles and Videos


Texas Gov. Rick Perry on border security


Gov. Rick Perry on Sanctuary Cities

Governor Rick Perry on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America Part 1 of 3


KVUE Report On Perry’s Border Flip-Flop


More Video: Rick Perry: Border Fence is “Nonsense”

14 Reasons Why Rick Perry Would Be A Really, Really Bad President

“…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.”

Rick Perry has a record that should make all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents cringe. …”

Gov. Rick Perry Statement on Arizona, Immigration & Border Security

“…Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding border security, the recent debate over immigration policy in Washington and what has been implemented in Arizona:

“Texas has a rich history with Mexico, our largest trading partner, and we share more than 1,200 miles of border, more than any other state. “As the debate on immigration reform intensifies, the focus must remain on border security and the federal government’s failure to adequately protect our borders. Securing our border is a federal responsibility, but it is a Texas problem, and it must be addressed before comprehensive immigration reform is discussed.

“Recently, 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.

“For example, 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. Our focus must continue to be on the criminal elements involved with conducting criminal acts against Texans and their property. I will continue to work with the legislative leadership to develop strategies that are appropriate for Texas.

“Securing the border has to be a top priority, which is why I have a standing request with the federal government for 1,000 Title 32 National Guardsmen who can support civilian law enforcement efforts to enhance border securityin Texas. I have also requested predator drones be based in and operate over the Texas-Mexico border to provide essential information about criminal activity to law enforcement on the ground.

“Until the federal government brings the necessary resources to bear, we will continue to commit state funding and resources for additional border security efforts in order to protect our communities and legitimate cross border trade and travel, while enforcing the laws already on the books.” …”

Rick Perry

“…James Richard “Rick” Perry (born March 4, 1950) is the 47th and current Governor of Texas, having held the office since December 2000. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998, he assumed office as governor in December 2000 when Governor George W. Bush resigned to become President of the United States. Perry was elected to full terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010, an unprecedented feat in Texas political history. With a tenure in office to date of &000000000000001000000010 years, &0000000000000182000000182 days, Perry is the longest serving current U.S. governor, having succeeded North Dakota Governor John Hoeven who resigned on December 7, 2010 after being elected to the US Senate.

Perry served as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2008 (succeeding Sonny Perdue of Georgia), and in 2011 will once again serve as RGA Chairman.[2]

Perry holds all records for Texas gubernatorial tenure, having broken both Allan Shivers’ consecutive service record of 7 1/2 years in June 2008 and Bill Clements’ total service record of eight years (over two non-consecutive terms) in December 2008. As a result, the Dallas Morning News reported in December 2008 that Perry has the distinction of being the only governor in modern Texas history to have appointed at least one person to every possible state office, board, or commission position which requires gubernatorial appointment (as well as to several elected offices to which the governor can appoint someone to fill an unexpired term, such as six of the nine current members of the Texas Supreme Court).

Perry won the 2010 Republican primary election, defeating U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison[3][4] and former Wharton County Republican Party Chairwoman and businesswoman Debra Medina.[5] In the 2010 Texas gubernatorial election, Perry won re-election to a third term, defeating former Houston mayor Bill White and Kathie Glass.[6]

In response to questions about his political future, Perry has deflected suggestions that he should run for President, saying that he’s not been interested in seeking the office. In May 2011 however, Perry made his first public comment suggesting a possible change in direction when he said he would “think about” running for president after the close of the 2011 Texas legislative session but then quipped, “but I think about a lot of things”.[7]

In June 2011, Perry made perhaps the clearest sign yet that he may be more serious about seeking the presidential office in 2012 when he appeared on the Fox News Channel and told host Neil Cavuto that he was “certainly giving it the appropriate thought process.” Referring to his previous statements about not being interested in running, Cavuto asked Perry what had changed. Perry responded, “Six weeks ago, this was not on my radar….” But since then, his wife and supporters have asked him “to give this a second thought” as “our country is in trouble.” [8]

Early life

A fifth-generation Texan, Perry was born in Paint Creek, about 60 miles (97 km) north of Abilene in West Texas, to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt. His father, a Democrat, was a long-time Haskell County commissioner and school board member. Perry graduated from Paint Creek High School in 1968. As a child, Perry was in the Boy Scouts (BSA) and earned the rank of Eagle Scout; his son, Griffin, would also later become an Eagle Scout.[9][10] The BSA honored Perry with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.[11]

Perry attended Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and one of A&M’s five yell leaders (a popular Texas A&M tradition analogous to male cheerleaders).[12] He interned with the Southwestern Company during the summer time as a door-to-door book salesman where he honed his communication skills.[13] Perry graduated in 1972 with a degree in animal science. While at Texas A&M University Perry successfully completed a static line parachute jump at Ags Over Texas (a United States Parachute Association dropzone), the dropzone that was then in operation at Coulter Field (KCFD) in Bryan, Texas, just north of Texas A&M (in College Station, Texas).

Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the United States Air Force, completed pilot training and flew C-130 tactical airlift in the United States, the Middle East, and Europe until 1977. He left the Air Force with the rank of captain, returned to Texas and went into business farming cotton with his father.

In 1982, Perry married Anita Thigpen, his childhood sweetheart whom he had known since elementary school. They have two children, Griffin and Sydney. Anita Perry attended West Texas State University and earned a degree in nursing. She has spearheaded a number of health-related initiatives such as the Anita Thigpen Perry Endowment at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, which focuses on nutrition, cardiovascular disease, health education, and early childhood programming.

Perry has said that his interest in politics probably began in November 1961, when his father took him to the funeral of Sam Rayburn, who during his long public career served as speaker of the Texas House and the U.S. House of Representatives. Dignitaries from all over the nation came to the small town of Bonham, the seat of Fannin County, for the service.

Texas Legislature

In 1984, Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat from a district (64) that included his home county of Haskell. He served on the House Appropriations and Calendars committees during his three two-year terms in office. He befriended fellow freshman state representative Lena Guerrero of Austin, a staunch liberal Democrat who endorsed Perry’s reelection bid in 2006 on personal, rather than philosophical, grounds. Perry was part of the “Pit Bulls”, a group of Appropriations members who sat on the lower dais in the committee room (or “pit”) who pushed for austere state budgets during the 1980s.

Perry supported Al Gore in the 1988 Democratic presidential primaries and was chairman of the Gore campaign in Texas.

In 1989, The Dallas Morning News named him one of the most effective legislators in the 71st Legislature.[citation needed] That same year, Perry announced that he was joining the Republican Party.[14]

Agriculture Commissioner

In 1990, he challenged incumbent Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower. Hightower had worked on behalf of Jesse Jackson for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988, while Perry had supported U.S. Senator Al Gore of Tennessee. Perry narrowly unseated Hightower, even as the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Clayton Williams, went down to defeat at the hands of Ann Richards.[15]

As Agriculture Commissioner, Perry was responsible for promoting the sale of Texas farm produce to other states and foreign nations and supervising the calibration of weights and measures, such as gasoline pumps and grocery store scales.

In 1994, Perry was reelected Agriculture Commissioner by a large margin, having polled 2,546,287 votes (61.92 percent) to Democrat Marvin Gregory’s 1,479,692 (35.98 percent). Libertarian Clyde L. Garland received the remaining 85,836 votes (2.08 percent).[16]

Lieutenant governor

In 1998, Perry chose not to seek a third term as Agriculture Commissioner, running instead for Lieutenant Governor to succeed the retiring Democrat Bob Bullock. Perry polled 1,858,837 votes (50.04 percent) to the 1,790,106 (48.19 percent) cast for Democrat John Sharp of Victoria, who had relinquished the comptroller’s position after two terms to seek the lieutenant governorship. Libertarian Anthony Garcia polled another 65,150 votes (1.75 percent).[16] Perry thus became the state’s first Republican lieutenant governor, taking office on January 19, 1999 until his ascension to the governorship on December 21, 2000 upon the resignation of then-Governor George W. Bush.


Perry assumed the office of Governor late in 2000 when George W. Bush resigned to prepare for his presidential inauguration, becoming the first Texas A&M graduate to serve as Governor.

Perry won the office in his own right in the 2002 gubernatorial election when he defeated Laredo businessman Tony Sanchez, polling 2,632,591 votes (57.80 percent) to Sanchez’s 1,819,798 (39.96 percent). Four minor candidates shared 2.21 percent of the vote.[16]

The 2006 gubernatorial election proved to be a stiffer challenge. Though he easily defeated token opposition in the primary election, Perry faced a six-way race involving former Democratic Congressman Chris Bell, Libertarian candidate James Werner (a sales consultant); and three independent candidates – outgoing Republican state Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn (who chose not to face Perry in the primary race when early polling data suggested she would lose badly), well-known Texas country music singer Kinky Friedman, and write-in candidate James “Patriot” Dillon. Perry won the race in a plurality, polling 1,714,618 votes (39 percent) to Bell’s 1,309,774 (29.8 percent), Strayhorn’s 789,432 (18 percent), Friedman’s 553,327 (12.6 percent), and Werner’s 26,726 (0.6 percent). Dillon garnered a mere 718 votes. Perry became only the third governor in state history to have been elected by a plurality of less than 40 percent of votes cast (the 1853 and 1861 races also featured plurality winners carrying under 40 percent).

Late in the 2006 campaign, the Republican Governors Association received one million dollars from Houston businessman Bob Perry (no relation), and the association then contributed that amount to Rick Perry. Bell brought suit, contending that the Bob Perry donations had been improperly channeled through the association to conceal their source. In 2010, the Rick Perry campaign paid Bell $426,000 to settle the suit.[17][18]

Perry is a member of the Republican Governors Association, the National Governors Association, the Western Governors Association, and the Southern Governors Association. Perry is currently serving as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association; he previously served as its Chairman in 2008.[2]

Early in his term as Governor, Perry convinced the state Legislature to increase health funding by $6 billion.[citation needed] Some of these programs have since faced funding reductions, and Perry has refused to resume funding to previous levels because of the additional financial burden he says it would place on the state, even though Federal Matching Funds for Healthcare above and beyond the amount dedicated by the legislature are available. He also increased school funding prior to the 2002 election and created new scholarship programs, including $300 million for the Texas GRANT Scholarship Program.[citation needed] Some $9 billion was allocated to Texas public schools, colleges, and universities and combined with a new emphasis on accountability for both teachers and students.[citation needed]

Perry’s campaigns for lieutenant governor and governor focused on a tough stance on crime. In June 2002, he vetoed a ban on the execution of mentally retarded inmates. He has also supported block grants for crime programs.

Perry has also supported tort reform to limit malpractice lawsuits against doctors, and as lieutenant governor he had tried and failed to limit class action awards and allowing plaintiffs to allocate liability awards among several defendants. In 2003, Perry sponsored a controversial state constitutional amendment to cap medical malpractice awards,[19] which was narrowly approved by voters.

This legislation has resulted in a 30 percent decrease in malpractice insurance rates and a significant increase in the number of doctors seeking to practice in the state.[20]

Recently, Perry has drawn attention for his criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the recession, and for turning down approximately $555 million in stimulus money for unemployment insurance. Perry was lauded by the Texas Association of Business[21] for this decision and his justification—that the funds and the mandatory changes to state law would have placed an enduring tax burden on employers. In September 2009, Perry declared that Texas was recession-proof: “As a matter of fact…someone had put a report out that the first state that’s coming out of the recession is going to be the state of Texas…I said, ‘We’re in one?'”[22]

Paul Burka, senior executive editor of Texas Monthly, criticized Perry’s remarks, saying “You cannot be callous and cavalier when people are losing their jobs and their homes.”[23]

Fiscal issues

Perry, a proclaimed proponent of fiscal conservatism, has often campaigned on tax reform and job growth. Perry resisted creating a Texas state income tax and increasing sales tax rates, choosing instead to increase user fees and debt, adding $2 billion for road bonds,[24] [25] borrowing from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund[26] and adding surcharges to various traffic offenses, protected the state’s “Rainy Day fund”, balanced the state budget as required by state law, and was reelected on a platform to reduce property taxes that rose with the inflation of property values in the late 1990s and the 21st century. In early 2006, Perry signed legislation that delivered a $15.7 billion reduction in property taxes.[27]

In early 2006 Perry angered some fiscal conservatives in his own party by supporting an increase in the state franchise tax alongside a property tax reform bill. Many organizations within the Republican Party itself condemned Perry’s tax bill, HB-3, and likened it to a “back door” state income tax.[28] Perry claimed that the bill would save the average taxpayer $2,000 in property taxes. Critics contended that Perry inflated these numbers; the actual tax savings, they said, would average only $150 per family.[29]

In 2003, Perry signed legislation that created the Texas Enterprise Fund to enhance the development of the Texas economy. In 2004, he authorized the fund to grant $20 million to Countrywide Financial in return for a promise “to create 7,500 new jobs in the state by 2010.” The grant (all of which are approved by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House) is one of the largest made from the fund in terms of the size and the number of jobs promised. In the fall of 2007, while slashing jobs and with its stock price plummeting, Countrywide assured Perry’s office that the company “believed” it would meet its 2010 commitment[30] only to be acquired in a fire sale two months later by Bank of America. Thanks to the “claw-back” provisions in the program, grantees return funds to the state for jobs not created.

Scrutiny directed at his preference for tax cuts has been largely offset by the state’s comparative economic strength[31] in the midst of a serious global economic downturn.

As lieutenant governor, he initially sponsored a controversial school voucher bill as an alternative to the “Robin Hood” school finance proposal. In 2004, Perry attacked the same “Robin Hood” plan as detrimental to the educational system and attempted to get the legislature to replace it with one that he said would encourage greater equity, cost less, hold down property and sales taxes, and foster job growth. Perry objected to the legalization of video lottery terminals at racetracks and on Indian reservations as well as increases in cigarette taxes.

In 2003, Perry called three consecutive special legislative sessions to procure a congressional redistricting plan he said would be more reflective of the state’s population. The plan finally adopted—supported by then U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Sugar Land—brought about a five-seat Republican gain in the delegation. In 2006, however, the five-seat edge was reduced to three seats. Thereafter, Republicans gained one seat in 2008 and an additional three seats in the 2010 election; they now hold a 23-9 majority.

A special session of the legislature was convened on June 21, 2005, to address education issues, but resistance developed from House Speaker Tom Craddick, a Republican from Midland. Perry’s proposal was attacked by members from property-poor districts and was rejected. During the session, Perry became involved in a heated debate with Comptroller Carole Strayhorn about the merits of his school finance proposal. Strayhorn initially planned to oppose Perry in the 2006 Republican primary, but she instead ran as an independent in the general election.[32] Another special session was convened on July 21, 2005 after Perry vetoed all funding for public schools for the 2007-2008 biennium. He vowed not to “approve an education budget that shortchanges teacher salary increases, textbooks, education technology, and education reforms. And I cannot let $2 billion sit in some bank account when it can go directly to the classroom.”

Perry’s campaign office in 2006 declared that without the special session, some “$2 billion that had been intended for teacher pay raises, education reforms, and other school priorities would have gone unused because House Bill 2 [the public school reform package] didn’t pass.”[33] The bill failed to pass in the first session, and was refiled in a second session, in which the bill was defeated 62-79, after 50 amendments were added without discussion or debate.[34]

Late in 2005, to maximize the impact of a bipartisan education plan, Perry asked his former rival in the race for lieutenant governor, John Sharp, a former Texas State Comptroller and a member of the Texas Railroad Commission, Texas State Senate and Texas House of Representatives, to head an education task force charged with preparing a bipartisan education plan. Sharp accepted Perry’s offer and removed himself as a potential candidate for governor in 2006. The task force issued its final plan several months later, and the legislature adopted it.[35] For his successful efforts, Sharp was later nominated by the Dallas Morning News for the “Texan of the Year” award.[36]

In June 2010, Perry went on a 12-day trade mission to East Asia. The security detail for the trip cost $129,000 in state money. The Texas Government attempted to block the media’s scrutiny of the use of the funds as they contained information that could compromise the future security of the state’s senior executive. A member of White’s gubernatorial campaign stated that Perry should, “stop hiding the facts on fiscal issues like what he’s charging taxpayers for travel”. Perry’s campaign countered that the trip led to greater exposure for Texas business opportunities in Asia.[37][38] In all, Perry made 23 foreign trips from 2004–2010, including a vacation on Grand Cayman and an education policy retreat in the Bahamas. The state paid only 1% of the travel expenses for these excursions, but security details for all trips combined cost over $1 million in state money. Perry’s chief of staff remarked that the trips were “good business sense” as they enhanced the profile of Texan goods and services in foreign markets. White’s campaign, however, accused Perry of staging the trips for self-promotion.[39]

Repeal of the 16th Amendment

In Rick Perry’s 2010 book Fed Up!, he takes issue with the Federal government’s right to collect income tax. Rick considers “The 16th Amendment. If you want to know when Washington really got off the track, the 16th Amendment, giving them the opportunity to take your money with a personal income tax.”[40]

Social policy

Perry is known for his opposition to gay rights, and he opposes all legal recognition of same sex marriages. He condemned the United States Supreme Court decision in Lawrence vs. Texas,[citation needed] which struck down a Texas sodomy law and believed the law to be “appropriate”.[41]

Perry is pro-life and opposes government funding for elective abortions. In 2005, Perry, a social conservative, signed a bill that limited late-term abortions and required girls under the age of 18 who procure abortions to notify their parents. Perry signed the bill in the gymnasium of Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Worth, an evangelical Christian school.

Christian religious beliefs

In what was described as a “God and country” sermon at the Cornerstone church in San Antonio, attended by Perry and other mostly Republican candidates, the Rev. John Hagee stated, “If you live your life and don’t confess your sins to God Almighty through the authority of Christ and His blood, I’m going to say this very plainly, you’re going straight to hell with a nonstop ticket.” Perry was asked if he agreed with those comments and said, “It is my faith, and I’m a believer of that.”[42] Perry went on to say that there was nothing in the sermon that he took exception with. [43]

While visiting Israel in August 2009, Perry gave an interview to the Jerusalem Post in which he affirmed his support for Israel from his religious background, “I’m a big believer that this country was given to the people of Israel a long time ago, by God, and that’s ordained.”[44]

Intelligent design

During the 2006 gubernatorial election campaign, Perry said he supported teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in Texas schools. A spokeswoman for Perry called intelligent design a “valid scientific theory”, an analysis that political commentator Rick Casey describes as “disputed by the scientific establishment”.[45]

HPV vaccine

On February 2, 2007, Perry issued an executive order mandating that Texas girls receive HPV vaccine that protects against some strains of the human papilloma virus, a cause of cervical cancer. The order provided vaccination free of charge to those who were not covered by insurance.[46] The order included an opt-out provision for parents. At the time of the order, Gardasil, a newly approved drug manufactured by Merck was the only FDA approved HPV vaccine. The move made national headlines,[47] and 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.[48]

Perry’s decision has been criticized by some social conservatives and parents due to concerns about possible moral implications of the vaccine and safety concerns. On February 22, 2007, a group of families sued in an attempt to block Perry’s executive order.[49] Perry’s order has also been criticized for the price of the vaccine: approximately $360 in Texas.[46]

On May 9, 2007, Perry allowed a bill to go into law that would undo his executive order.[50]


Perry set a record in the 2001 legislative session for the use of the veto: he rejected legislation a total of 82 times, more than any other governor in any single legislative session in the history of the state since Reconstruction. Perry’s use of the veto drew criticism from some in the 2002 gubernatorial campaign, having used the veto only nine fewer times than preceding Governor George W. Bush had during three legislative sessions and 22 more than Ann Richards cast in two sessions.[51] In the two legislative sessions following the 2001 session, Perry was more conservative in his use of the veto, employing it 51 times.[52] As of 2011, he had used the veto 273 times, more than any other Texas governor.[53]

Supreme Court Justice Steve Smith

Perry has made numerous appointments to the Texas courts, the Texas Railroad Commission, as secretary of state, and to other boards and commissions during his tenure as governor. Two of the three Railroad Commissioners, Victor G. Carrillo and Elizabeth Ames Jones, began their service as Perry appointees. The third, Michael L. Williams, started in 1999 under appointment from George W. Bush. He has named six short-term appointments as secretary of state, including two of his former legislative colleagues, Henry Cuellar and Gwyn Shea.

One of Perry’s first selections was the appointment of Xavier Rodriguez to succeed Greg Abbott on the Texas Supreme Court. Rodriguez, a self-proclaimed moderate, was quickly unseated in the 2002 Republican primary by conservative Steven Wayne Smith, the attorney in the Hopwood v. Texas suit in 1996, which successfully challenged affirmative action at the University of Texas Law School. Hopwood, however, was overturned in a 2003 decision stemming from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Steven Smith was elected by a comfortable margin over Democratic opposition in the 2002 general election.

Perry objected to Smith’s tenure on the court and refused to meet with the new justice when Smith attempted to mend fences with the governor. Perry encouraged Judge Paul Green to challenge Smith in the 2004 Republican primary. Perry raised funds for Green,[citation needed] who defeated Smith in the primary and was then elected without opposition in the general election. Smith attempted a comeback in the 2006 Republican primary by challenging Justice Don Willett, another Perry appointee who was considered a conservative on the court. Smith polled 49.5 percent of the primary vote, but Willett narrowly prevailed.

Trans-Texas Corridor

In January 2001, Perry proposed the Trans-Texas Corridor, a $145+ billion-dollar project that would build multi-lane highways, rail lines and data lines from Oklahoma to Mexico, and from east to west in southern Texas. Instead of paying for the project with taxes, Perry proposed that it be partially financed, partially built and wholly operated by private contractors who, in exchange for a multi-billion dollar investment, would receive all toll proceeds, notably Cintra, a Spanish-owned company, and its minority partner, San Antonio-based Zachry Construction Corporation, one of Texas’ largest road construction companies.[54] Some of the more controversial aspects of the project include tolls, private operation of toll collections (at rates set by local municipalities), and extensive use of eminent domain (or the option for landowners to maintain a lucrative equity stake in the project) to acquire property.

Opponents portrayed the proposal as a “land grab”, and criticized Perry for opposing the public release of the actual terms of the 50-year deal with Cintra to the public for fear they would chill the possibility of the company’s investment; Perry’s former liaison to the legislature, former State Senator Dan Shelly, returned to his consulting/lobbying work with Cintra after securing the TTC deal while on the state payroll. All of Perry’s gubernatorial opponents opposed the corridor project, as did the 2006 state party platforms of both the Democratic and Republicans parties.[55][56] After much contentious debate between supporters and opponents, an official decision of “no action” was issued by the Federal Highway Administration on July 20, 2010, formally ending the project.

In 2001, Perry appointed Ric Williamson of Weatherford, an old friend and former legislative colleague, to the Texas Transportation Commission. Williamson became the commission chairman in 2004 and worked for the improvement of the state’s transportation infrastructure until his sudden death of a heart attack on December 30, 2007.

Death penalty

Perry supports the death penalty.[57] On June 2, 2009, Texas carried out the 200th execution since Perry assumed the office of governor.[58]

[Cameron Todd Willingham

Questions were raised in 2009 by a report from an investigator hired by the Texas Forensic Science Commission that an innocent person may have been executed in Texas while Perry was governor. The report concluded that a fire allegedly set by Cameron Todd Willingham in 1991 to murder his three daughters could not have been arson. Willingham said that he was asleep in his house when the fire started and denied that he deliberately killed his children.[59] He was executed in Texas on February 17, 2004. Prior to his execution Dr. Gerald Hurst, an Austin scientist and fire investigator, reviewed the case and concluded there was “no evidence of arson, the same conclusion reached by other fire investigators. Hurst’s report was sent to Perry’s office as well as Board of Pardons and Paroles along with Willingham’s appeal for clemency.[60] Neither responded to Willingham’s appeals. “The whole case was based on the purest form of junk science,” Hurst later said. “There was no item of evidence that indicated arson.”[61]

The Texas Forensic Science Commission agreed to investigate in 2008 after defense attorneys claimed that Willingham was wrongfully convicted on the basis of flawed scientific evidence. Dr. Craig Beyler, a nationally recognized fire investigator in Baltimore, was commissioned by the state panel to conduct an independent review. He submitted a 55-page report, saying methods used in the investigation could not support a finding of arson.[59] The report, written by Dr. Beyler, found that “a finding of arson could not be sustained”. Beyler said that key testimony from a fire marshal at Willingham’s trial was “hardly consistent with a scientific mind-set and is more characteristic of mystics or psychics.”.[62]

Perry later expressed skepticism of findings by fire experts. He stated that regardless of findings by arson experts, court records showed evidence of Willingham’s guilt in charges that he intentionally killed his daughters in the fire. Perry is quoted in the report as stating of Willingham, “I’m familiar with the latter-day supposed experts on the arson side of it”, but court records provide “clear and compelling, overwhelming evidence that he was in fact the murderer of his children”, despite alleged scientific evidence to the contrary. He also noted that the defense team had ample opportunity to cross-examine the prosecution’s expert witnesses at the trial and to present their own expert witnesses, as well as to raise these issues when appealing the verdict and penalty in State and federal court [63]

Willingham’s wife, Stacy Kuykendall, has gone on record[64] stating her firm belief that Willingham murdered her children.

On October 2009, Perry replaced three members of Texas Forensic Science Commission just two days before it was to hear from Dr. Beyler, the author of the latest of three reports to conclude that arson was not the likely cause of the 1991 fire. As a result, the hearing was postponed indefinitely, and critics of the governor accused him of trying to quash the Willingham probe.[65] Perry said the commission’s inquiry will continue, saying that his decision to replace the three commission members was part of the normal appointments process.[59]

Ousted head of the forensics panel, Samuel Bassett, has stated he felt pressure from Perry’s office and that they felt the Beyler report was a “waste of State money” and that the Willingham investigation should be a lower priority. He went on to say that they indicated they were not happy with the course of the Willingham investigation and hinted at reducing the commission’s funding.[66]

Pardons and commutations

Under Texas law, the Governor is not permitted to grant pardon or parole, or to commute a death penalty sentence to life imprisonment, on his own initiative (the law was changed after former Governor James E. Ferguson was charged with selling pardons for political contributions). Instead, the Board of Pardons and Paroles will recommend to the Governor whether or not to grant such. If the Board recommends such, the Governor is free to reject the recommendation, but if the Board chooses not to recommend such, in the case of a death penalty sentence the Governor can only grant a one-time, 30-day reprieve.

In 2005, Frances Newton’s appeal for a commutation of her death penalty was declined. Her attorney had argued Newton was incapable of standing trial. The Board of Pardon and Parole did not recommend a commutation, and Perry chose not to grant the one-time reprieve. Newton was executed on September 14, 2005.

Tyrone Brown was an African-American who was sentenced to life in a Texas maximum security prison in 1990 for smoking marijuana while on probation. Texas Judge Keith Dean had originally placed Brown on probation, but changed the sentence after Brown tested positive for marijuana. After being defeated in the last Dallas election, Dean requested the governor pardon Brown. On March 9, 2007, Perry granted Brown a conditional pardon after receiving a recommendation from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.[67]

On August 30, 2007, Perry commuted the death sentence of Kenneth Foster, an accomplice in a 1996 murder, doing so three hours before Foster was to die by lethal injection. Evidence had shown that while Foster was present at the scene of the crime (transporting the individual who actually committed the crime away from the scene in his car), he had nothing to do with the actual commission of the murder, and, for that matter, may not have even been aware that it had been taking place, as he was outside in his car at the time. Again, the Board of Pardon and Parole recommended the commutation, and Perry chose to accept the recommendation, thus converting the sentence to life in prison with a possibility of parole in 2037.[68]

Environmental issues

Perry does not believe there is valid scientific proof of anthropogenic global warming. He has said several times that there is no scientific consensus on the issue.[69] In a September 7, 2007, speech to California Republicans, Perry said, “Virtually every day another scientist leaves the global warming bandwagon. … But you won’t read about that in the press because they have already invested in one side of the story.”[70]

Texas-based TXU had been planning a $10 billion investment in 11 new coal-fired power plants over the next several years, but drastically reduced those plans in 2007 under the terms of a buyout by a consortium of private equity firms.[71] The Governor’s Clean Coal Technology Council[72] continues to explore ways to generate clean energy with coal. After the 2009 legislative session, Perry signed House Bill 469[73] which includes incentives[74] for clean coal technology breakthroughs.

Perry opposes regulation of greenhouse gas emissions because he says it would have “devastating implications” for the Texas economy and energy industry. He has stated that he supports an “all of the above” energy strategy[75] including oil, coal, nuclear, biofuels, hydroelectric, solar, and wind energy. Perry has collaborated with T. Boone Pickens, an alternative energy advocate and oil pioneer. Environmentalists have characterized his views on climate change as “shortsighted and overly alarmist”.[clarification needed][76]


In 2007, Perry vetoed health care for community college faculty due to revelations that schools had been using state funds to pay benefits for non-state employees. Funding for state-employed school personnel was restored in a joint agreement and funding re-allocation later that same year.[77]

Perry, an Aggie himself, visited the newest Texas A&M University system campus in Texarkana, Texas in August 2010.[78]

Inauguration concert controversy

Perry invited his friend, rock musician Ted Nugent, to perform at a black-tie gala hours after Perry’s second inauguration ceremony on January 16, 2007. Nugent appeared onstage during the inaugural ball wearing a cutoff T-shirt emblazoned with the Confederate flag and shouting derogatory remarks about non-English speakers, according to press reports.[79] The NAACP condemned Nugent’s wearing the Confederate flag.[80]

Fire at Texas Governor’s Mansion

On June 8, 2008, the 152-year-old historic state governor’s residence was swept by a fire the local authorities suspected was a result of arson. The mansion, which was undergoing planned maintenance, had no occupants at the time; Perry and his family had been living elsewhere since the previous fall. Because the fire occurred outside of working hours, no workers were inside, although much of the building was badly damaged.[81] At the time of the fire, Perry himself was in Stockholm, Sweden, on an economic development tour to encourage investment in Texas.

Comments on the possible secession of Texas

In April 2009, Perry endorsed a resolution supporting state sovereignty, under the argument that such authority is reserved by the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[82] On April 9, 2009, Perry said, “I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our State. That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the States’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our State from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”[82]

After a tea party protest held on April 15, 2009, Perry responded to a reporter’s question about secession, saying, “Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that… My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. 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, who knows what may come of that.”[83][84][85] In reference to Perry’s comments, a spokesperson said that Perry “never advocated seceding”.[83] A Time magazine article shed light on the situation, with experts saying that Texas cannot legally secede but may split into five states.[86] Nevertheless, in an op-ed piece distributed on May 17, 2009, Perry stated “I have never advocated for secession and never will.”[87]

In response to Perry’s comments, the Amarillo Globe-News posted an editorial on April 19, writing that Perry “uttered some words that take that discussion to a level not heard since, oh, 1861—when Texas in fact did secede and joined the Confederate States of America. We all know what happened next.”[88] U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) further reflected this understanding, “Well, I don’t think it’s particularly useful. The legal response is ‘You can’t do it.’ We fought a Civil War. You can’t do it… I think it’s a distraction. We have a lot of serious issues. This is not one of them.” Additionally, Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX) thought “the governor got carried away. You see posturing in preparation for the Republican primary. It serves no useful purpose.” However, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said “I’m receptive to the principle of secession. You should have the right to leave.”.[89]

Response to H1N1 influenza pandemic

Perry asked for federal assistance in fighting the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.[90]


Perry has opposed the creation of the Mexico – United States barrier, which is meant to keep out illegal aliens. Instead of barricading the border completely with a fence, Perry believes that the federal government should fulfill its responsibility to its citizens by securing the borders with “boots on the ground” and technology to improve safety while not harming trade with the state’s biggest trading partner, Mexico. [91] Perry said the Arizona immigration law SB 1070 “would not be the right direction for Texas” and would distract law enforcement from fighting other crimes.[92]

Response to 2011 drought and wildfires

On April 21, Perry proclaimed a three-day period, from Friday to Sunday (coinciding with Easter), as Days of Prayer for Rain in the state.[93]

2008 presidential endorsements

“Rudy GiulianiIn October 2007, despite their political differences on many social issues, Perry endorsed Rudy Giuliani for President. is the most prepared individual of either party to be the next President… I’m not talking about any mayor, I’m talking about America’s Mayor,” Perry said.[94] Some conjectured that, if Giuliani were elected, Perry might have been considered for a position in the new President’s cabinet, or perhaps the Vice Presidency.[95] However, Giuliani withdrew from the race on January 30, 2008 after failing to gain support in early primaries.

Both Giuliani and Perry immediately endorsed Arizona Senator John McCain for President.[96] Shortly after Mitt Romney’s withdrawal from the race in early February, Perry reportedly[97] called McCain rival Mike Huckabee and suggested that he withdraw as well to clear the way for McCain to secure the nomination. Huckabee declined this request and made it clear publicly that he would only abandon his presidential bid if McCain secured enough delegates. Huckabee withdrew his presidential bid on March 5, 2008 after John McCain won the Texas and Ohio primaries.

2010 Texas gubernatorial election

Main article: Texas gubernatorial election, 2010

In April 2008, Perry announced his intent to run for re-election.[98] Perry defeated Senator Hutchison and Debra Medina in the March 2, 2010 primary election, becoming the Republican nominee. He faced Democratic nominee William Howard “Bill” White, the former mayor of Houston. Although nearly all polls indicated that Perry was ahead, one survey conducted by a Democratic-owned polling firm, showed a 43 – 43 tie. Perry refused to debate White until White released his tax returns from 1995, his last year as deputy energy secretary in the Clinton administration. White released his tax returns for his six years as mayor of Houston. According to his spokesperson, White had taxes withheld from his $133,000 salary in 1995, the amount of which was offset by losses in the starting of an energy business.[99]

On November 2, 2010, Perry handily won re-election to an unprecedented third four-year term in the general election polling 2,733,784 votes and (54.97 percent) and White garnered 2,102,606 votes and (42.28 percent) and Perry also carried 226 out of 254 counties, resulting him in making history becoming the first Texas governor to be elected to three four-year terms and the fourth to serve three terms since Shivers, Price Daniel, and John Connally. Perry’s third term began on January 18, 2011.

Political future

Perry has persistently denied aspirations to higher office; he was originally included on the 2012 Presidential Straw Poll ballot at the Values Voter Summit in September 2009, but his name was removed at his own request.[100] In April 2008 while appearing as a guest on CNBC’s Kudlow & Company, he specifically stated that he would not agree to serve as Vice President in a McCain administration, stating that he already had “the best job in the world” as Governor of Texas. Further, during a Republican gubernatorial debate in January 2010, when asked if he would commit to serving out his term if re-elected, he replied that “the place hasn’t been made yet” where he would rather serve than the Governor of Texas. In December 2010, when asked if he was a “definite maybe” to run for President in 2012, he replied, “a definite no, brother”.[101]

On May 27, 2011, he said he is “going to think about” running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination after the close of the Texas legislative session.[102] Perry said in a response to a question from a reporter, “but I think about a lot of things,” he added with a grin.[7]

A “Draft Rick Perry for President” website has been started by California State Assemblyman Dan Logue[103]


Rick Perry has written two books:

  • On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For was published in February 2008.[104] In his book, Perry celebrates the positive impact of the organization on the youth of America and criticizes the ACLU for its legal actions against the Boy Scouts of America.[105]
  • His second book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington was published in November 2010.[106] Perry’s second book discusses his support for limited central government.

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