Campaign2012

Rick Perry

Officially declared candidacy on 2011-08-13

Rick Perry

Already Texas’ longest-serving governor, Perry won an unprecedented third four-year term in 2010. But it isn’t just Perry’s record-setting reign that has him sounding like the leader of his own republic.

Perry, a southern Democrat-turned-Republican, ignited a furor when he told an anti-tax "Tea Party" crowd in April 2009 that the 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” and suggested that Texas may consider seceding from the rest of the country.

"We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it,” Perry said from the steps of Austin City Hall. “But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that."

Texas Democrats lambasted Perry’s secessionist rhetoric as reckless and “anti-American.” But Perry’s remarks were pitch-perfect for the disaffected conservatives that comprise the tea party movement of 2010. They helped boost him to a 20-point plus win over Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) in March 2010 GOP primary and sparked talk of a 2012 presidential candidacy, which he denied.

But 2010's general election brought Perry a surprisingly strong Democratic challenger in the form of Houston Mayor Bill White (D). White kept Perry's lead in the single digits throughout most of the 2010 governor's race, though Perry ultimately prevailed by 14 percentage points.

Key Campaign Moments for Perry

Perry on Issues

  • Economic policy  economic-policy icon

    Has made job creation, and the economy, centerpiece of his campaign. Boasts of Texas' strong economic engine, pointing to the lack of income tax and its...

    Read More

    Rick Perry on Economic policy  economic-policy icon

    Has made job creation, and the economy, centerpiece of his campaign. Boasts of Texas' strong economic engine, pointing to the lack of income tax and its the fact that its created somewhere between 30 percent and half of the net new jobs in the country in the past two years, depending on who is counting.

  • Energy policy  energy-policy icon

    Has stated that he does not believe that global warming is caused by manmade factors, and has said that science around it has been 'manipulated' to support...

    Read More

    Rick Perry on Energy policy  energy-policy icon

    Has stated that he does not believe that global warming is caused by manmade factors, and has said that science around it has been 'manipulated' to support a left-wing political agenda. Opposed to cap-and-trade programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, saying they are harmful to the U.S. economy.

    In His Own Words

    I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.

    Rick Perry, August 17, 2011
  • Foreign Policy  foreign-policy icon

    As governor, has less foreign policy experience, which became evident during Sept. 22, 2011, Fox News debate. When questioned about his response to loss...

    Read More

    Rick Perry on Foreign Policy  foreign-policy icon

    As governor, has less foreign policy experience, which became evident during Sept. 22, 2011, Fox News debate. When questioned about his response to loss of control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons supply, answered with hard-to-follow response about India. On immigration, has been attacked by conservatives for supporting the Texas DREAM Act, which allows in-state tuition for higher education of children of illegal immigrants.

    In His Own Words

    I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.

    Rick Perry, August 17, 2011
  • Health Care  health-care icon

    Perry has promised to repeal Obama’s health-care plan, which he describes as a financially unsustainable over-reach by the federal government. He...

    Read More

    Rick Perry on Health Care  health-care icon

    Perry has promised to repeal Obama’s health-care plan, which he describes as a financially unsustainable over-reach by the federal government. He has proposed alternative solutions that involve raising the eligibility age for Medicare and increasing state control over Medicaid. Perry has suggested the best short-term solution for improving health care is to stimulate job growth so more Americans have employer-sponsored coverage His 2012 campaign Web site describes Obama’s health-care law as a “misguided, unconstitutional and unsustainable government takeover of our health care that will undermine patient quality, increase red tape and send costs skyrocketing for taxpayers, patients and healthcare providers.” Perry’s “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan details alternative solutions for health-care reform that include raising the eligibility age for Medicare, giving states more power over how to spend Medicaid money, and giving Medicare recipients more direct control over how to spend their health-care dollars. As governor of Texas, Perry pushed for tort reforms that limited awards for malpractice damages, a move that he claims helped lower the cost of health care in his state.

    In His Own Words

    I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.

    Rick Perry, August 17, 2011
  • Medicare Reform  medicare-reform icon

    One of first major controversies as a candidate was contention that Social Security is a 'Ponzi scheme' and 'monstruous lie' to young children because...

    Read More

    Rick Perry on Medicare Reform  medicare-reform icon

    One of first major controversies as a candidate was contention that Social Security is a 'Ponzi scheme' and 'monstruous lie' to young children because it won't be solvent for future generations. Instead, wants workers to choose whether to participate in federal pension plan, arguing that return on private on pensions is higher.

    In His Own Words

    I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.

    Rick Perry, August 17, 2011
  • Social Issues  social-issues icon

    A big 10th amendment supporter, has said that if Roe v. Wade were overturned by the Supreme Court, it the issue would be in states' hands. as would be...

    Read More

    Rick Perry on Social Issues  social-issues icon

    A big 10th amendment supporter, has said that if Roe v. Wade were overturned by the Supreme Court, it the issue would be in states' hands. as would be the issue of same-sex marriage (he said New York's June 2011 legalization of gay marriage was 'fine by me' and endorsed former Big Apple Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has liberal social views, for president in 2008). Irked some conservatives by ordering the 2007 vaccination of girls for cervical cancer.

    In His Own Words

    I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.

    Rick Perry, August 17, 2011

Perry Coverage

  • Washington simply cannot follow basic instructions. The Constitution is not a complicated document. The federal government's core function is to defend the nation. Yet our military is strained, our leaders are more concerned about world popularity than strength, and our borders remain porous.

    "Fed Up" bookNovember 15, 2011
  • We Texans like our guns. We don't like meddlesome statists who want to infringe on our right to keep and bear them.

    "Fed Up" bookNovember 15, 2011
  • If [Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke] prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what you all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.

    The Washington PostAugust 17, 2011
  • No issue is more critical for the defense of freedom and the American way of life than the preservation of our free-market health care system and the total repeal and dismantling of so-called Obamacare.

    "Fed Up" bookNovember 15, 2010
  • Ponzi schemes, like the one that sent Bernard Madoff to prison - are illegal in this country for a reason. They are fraudelent systems designed to take in a lot of money at the front and pay out none in the end. This unsustainable fiscal insanity is the true legacy of Social Security and the New Deal.

    "Fed Up" bookNovember 15, 2010

Rick Perry seeks redemption in 2016

Rick Perry seeks redemption in 2016

Texas governor finds power in immigration crisis and hopes for a second chance from Republicans

Perry’s best leadership trait

Perry’s best leadership trait

Sure, Rick Perry has charisma to spare. He’s confident, folksy and has good looks to boot. But his biggest leadership strength is not a charming and Texas-sized swagger.

Rick Perry turns to comedy to recover from debate gaffe

Rick Perry turns to comedy to recover from debate gaffe

Rick Perry and his campaign were in full damage control mode as they attempted to spin Perry’s debate gaffe as humorous.

Rick Perry launches comeback campaign after major ‘oops’ in Republican debate

Rick Perry launches comeback campaign after major ‘oops’ in Republican debate

Rick Perry was the talk of the political world on Thursday after committing an epic debate goof during Wednesday night’s CNBC Republican presidential debate in Michigan.

Most Read: Politics

Read In

Now Viewing: People from around the country looking at Post Politics section

See what's being read across the country ›