Shortly after a disastrous campaign appearance where Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) stuffed food in his mouth to avoid explaining his claim that Social Security is unconstitutional, Perry’s spokesperson Ray Sullivan claimed that he is completely unaware that his boss believes that our national pension system violates the Constitution:
QUESTION: I just want to be quickly clear on the constitutionality issue. So, I wasn’t covering the governor last year when he made those comments. [...]
SULLIVAN: I’ve never heard him say the thing. And it’s possible that I missed something, but I’ve never heard him say it.
QUESTION: So in no way now does the governor believe that Social Security or any of the entitlements might be unconstitutional? That would be inaccurate?
SULLIVAN: I would say that the governor wants Social Security to work and to be fiscally sustainable.
QUESTION: But as far as the issue of constitutionality?
SULLIVAN: Again, I’ve never heard that come up and I don’t expect that to come up.
For the record, here is the transcript of an interview between Perry and the Daily Beast’s Andrew Romano where Perry unambiguously states that both Social Security and Medicare violate the Constitution:
[ROMANO:]The Constitution says that “the Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes… to provide for the… general Welfare of the United States.” But I noticed that when you quoted this section on page 116, you left “general welfare” out and put an ellipsis in its place. Progressives would say that “general welfare” includes things like Social Security or Medicare—that it gives the government the flexibility to tackle more than just the basic responsibilities laid out explicitly in our founding document. What does “general welfare” mean to you?
[PERRY:] I don’t think our founding fathers when they were putting the term “general welfare” in there were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of health care. What they clearly said was that those were issues that the states need to address. Not the federal government. I stand very clear on that. From my perspective, the states could substantially better operate those programs if that’s what those states decided to do.
So, before he decided to run for president, Perry stood “very clear” on his belief that providing for America’s seniors in their retirement is absolutely, positively beyond the federal government’s authority. Now that Perry wants to be president, however, he’s suddenly so eager to keep this view secret that he’s not even telling his own spokesperson about it.