**Before we get to Rick Perry, please take a moment to wish President Clinton a Happy 65th Birthday — which is coming up this Friday, Aug. 19. He’s still out there fighting for us, so take a moment to send him a birthday message!**
Rick Perry: The Worst of Both Worlds
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) campaign for the White House is nothing if not novel. He somehow manages to combine George W. Bush’s bravado and strong ties to the GOP establishment with the policy positions and other attributes of the most extreme elements of the Tea Party wing of the GOP.
Here’s the rundown.
Like Bush, Rick Perry is Brought to You by Big Oil
Just Like former President George W. Bush, Rick Perry is heavily funded by the oil and gas industry. In fact, it has been Rick Perry’s very top source of funding:
“Bush’s Brain” Karl Rove Says Perry & Bush Are Very Close — And Have Been For Two Decades
Though Rick Perry has attempted to distance himself from Bush, namely by noting, “I went to Texas A&M. He went to Yale,” he cannot deny his ties to the unpopular former president. On Fox News this morning, Bush’s top political strategist Karl Rove describe their “strong personal friendship of two decades” and questioned Perry’s attempts to distance himself from Bush, noting that Bush had “moved heaven and Earth” to get Rick Perry elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas. Rove then went on to note that any division between Perry and Bush would be “artificially created.”
Like Bush, Rick Perry Preaches Small Government While Growing Government
Despite his anti-government rhetoric, in Rick Perry’s Texas public sector employment grew twice as much as private sector employment. Want more proof? Here’s a chart showing government employment in Texas:
Just like Bush, however, a bigger Rick Perry government can also simultaneously be a government that provides less — often far less — in the way of essential government services and programs that help students, children, the needy, and others.
Like the Tea Party, Rick Perry Wants to Halt ALL Regulations — Including Those Protecting Our Air, Water, and Food
ThinkProgress’ Brad Johnson writes about Rick Perry’s Tea Party-esque call for a halt to all federal regulations:
“We’re sending out a request today asking President Obama to put a moratorium on all regulations,” Perry said on WHO radio in Iowa, recorded live by ThinkProgress.
Under such a moratorium, the Food and Drug Administration would stop approving new drugsand preventing human experimentation; the USDA would stop checking for food safety; the EPA would stop monitoring for poisons in drinking water; the Library of Congress would stoploaning materials to blind people; the NTSB would stop investigating airplane accidents; HHS would end Medicare payments; no more patents, copyrights, or trademarks would be issued; DHS would stop protecting chemical facilities from terrorist attacks; the Treasury would stopprinting currency; financial sanctions on hostile nations like North Korea and Iran would end; and the Federal Reserve System would shut down.
Like the Tea Party, Rick Perry Thinks Social Security & Medicare Are Unconstitutional
Rick Perry has referred to Social Security as a “ponzi scheme,” but he didn’t stop there. He actually told the Daily Beast last week that he believes both Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional, via ThinkProgress’ Ian Milhiser:
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.
Like the Tea Party, Rick Perry Thinks the Federal Government Should Have No Role in Education
At a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa yesterday, Rick Perry said “I don’t think the federal government has a role in your children’s education.” That kind of radical Tea Party thinking would mean an end to federal student loans, Pell grants, and billions in federal education funding. ThinkProgress caught Rick Perry on tape making the outrageous comments.
Like the Tea Party, Rick Perry Questions Obama’s Patriotism
At the same campaign stop in Iowa yesterday, a reporter asked Rick Perry if he was suggesting that President Obama didn’t love America. Perry’s response: “I dunno, you need to ask him.” ThinkProgress caught this one on tape too.
It seems awfully odd for Rick Perry to question Obama’s love for America, seeing as how Rick Perry has in the past suggested Texas ought to secede from the union.
Like the Tea Party, Rick Perry Uses Violent Political Rhetoric
At the same eventful campaign stop in Iowa where Rick Perry made the comments noted above, he also found time to issue a violent threat against Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Perry said: “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion.”
Treason is capital crime. Texas, of course, leads the nation in executions and some have even alleged that the innocent have been put to death under Rick Perry.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
Presidential contender and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) suggested that same-sex marriage is responsible for the country’s economic woes.
And Gingrich’s competitor former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) thinks he might have an answer for the economy: Cut more government jobs, even though government job losses are slowing the economy.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who is also running for president, thinks Americans had more freedom at the time of our Founding Fathers than they do now — despite slavery and inequality for women.
The right rejects Warren Buffet’s good advice.
Has our bloated security budget made us safer?
Monetary history, according to conservatives, is (not surprisingly) wrong.
Amid tons of chatter about how President Michele Bachmann could technically ban gays from the military again, Igor Volsky dissents, citing her lack of “political capitol” to go up against the four service chiefs who authorized DADT repeal and the infeasibility of forcing service members back into the closet.
The National Iranian American Council, which has been campaigning against delisting the exiled Iranian MEK terror group, translates an editorial from an indigenous Green Movement newspaper warning against American support for the group.
Noting that the military uses burn pits to dispose of almost all its waste in war zones, Erik Loomis of Lawyers, Guns and Money calls for the legislation forcing the military to comply with Environmental Protection Agency standards and regulations.
**PLEASE NOTE: The Progress Report will be on its traditional August hiatus starting tomorrow. We will return to your inboxes on Monday, Aug. 29. We thank you for your understanding.**