Rick Perry believes Social Security is unconstitutional. His book Fed Up! says that Social Security exists “at the expense of respect for the Constitution,” and video of him saying Social Security is unconstitutional is available online.
Yet, in last night’s debate, Perry managed to completely disavow this view and then suddenly re-embrace it again just one hour later. At about 9:30 last night, in response to a question from Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Perry denied ever saying that Social Security is beyond the federal government’s power and therefore must be handled solely by state governments:
KELLY: Gov. Perry, Gov. Romney has been hammering you on your idea of turning Social Security back to the states. Repeatedly. Can you explain, specifically, how fifty separate social security systems are supposed to work? [...]
PERRY: Now, it’s not the first time that Mitt’s been wrong on issues before. And the bottom line is that we never said that we were going to move this back to the states.
Nevertheless, at about 10:30 last night, Perry changed position again — this time insisting that he is retreating “not an inch” from the positions he stated in his book. Watch both of Perry’s contradictory positions:
It’s clear at this point that Perry wants to create an image of himself that is firm and unwaivering, but that he also doesn’t want his candidacy to be tarred with any of the extremist positions he quite openly and honestly expressed before he decided to run for president. Perry can’t have it both ways, no matter how many times he tries. The bottom line is that Perry either needs to start being honest again about his desire to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and other essential programs that he believes to be unconstitutional, or he needs to candidly admit that he is reversing his entire stance on the Constitution.