The big political story of the week was a political blunder in the CNBC debate last Wednesday night by GOP nominee hopeful, and Governor of Texas, Rick Perry. He could not remember one of the three federal agencies he would like to eliminate, if he is elected president.
“Turning to Texas Rep. Ron Paul to boast, Perry said: “I’ll tell you: it’s three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone: Commerce, education and, the –uh — what’s the third one there? … Commerce, education and the uh, the uh…” before being interrupted by a question. ”The third agency of government I would do away with — education, the, uh, commerce, and let’s see — I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops”
About 15 minutes later in the debate, Perry said he meant to say that the Department of Energy is the third agency he wanted to eliminate.
It was an embarrassing and excruciating moment for Perry, whose poor debate performances have defined his campaign. His poll numbers have declined steadily since his first debate. Critics have noted that his stamina in the two-hour-long debates seems to wane.
PERRY: I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the — What’s the third one there? Let’s see.
PERRY: Five. Okay. Commerce, Education, and the –
PERRY: EPA. There you go.
Q: Seriously — is EPA one you are talking about?
PERRY: No, sir, no, sir. We are talking about the — agencies of government — EPA needs to be rebuilt.
Q: You can’t — you can’t name the third one?
PERRY: The third agency of government I would — I would do away with Education, the –
PERRY: Commerce and, let’s see. I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.
According to Peter Hamby of CNN, Perry showed up at the spin room after the debate and told reporters, “I’m sure glad I had my boots on because I sure stepped in it out there.”
Wounded and offended, was how the recently concluded Republican, CNN Tea party debate left Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who had to defend a series of attacks mounted by Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney.
In the debate Bachman pins the Texas governor’s ties to a pharmaceutical giant as the reason for his controversial decision to require the HPV vaccine for Texas schoolgirls. And asserted that; “The drug company gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor, and this is just flat-out wrong.”
In response, Perry said Merck, the company in question, had given him a $5,000 contribution. “And if you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.”
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, knocked the governor for calling Social Security a ponzi scheme. He also hinted that the governor was dealt four aces in the state of Texas because Texas has no state income tax, low regulation, and is a right to work state, that has oil in the ground.
Perry hits back at Romney
Speaking at Thursday’s fundraiser for Iowa’s Greene County Republican Party, Perry who was desperate to recoup chips he lost in the debate, used the poker analogy to get back at Romney.
“As a son of tenant farmers, I can tell you: I wasn’t born with four aces in my hand.”
He went on to say:
“There’ve been some people who’ve said, ‘Well gosh yeah, you know, Texas, y’all got all that oil and gas and you’ve got this and you’ve got that and what have you,’” Perry said.
Then, reminding the crowd of Romney’s “four aces” remarks, the governor said: “There’s some folks back in Texas who were a little offended by that. We worked hard in Texas. We put good, hard, practical principles into play.”
He did not stop there.
While he reiterated his repeated bashing of President Obama’s health care law, Perry again tied it to the health care law passed during Romney’s term as governor.
“One of my opponents in the Republican primary, while he was the governor of Massachusetts – their job creation in that state was 47th in the nation, while he was sitting as the governor of the state,” Perry said. “Government mandated, government-run health care. It’s part of what he put in place as the governor of Massachusetts.”
“The job creation in Massachusetts, and that legacy of health care in Massachusetts, even makes it worse today. There was a Beacon Hill Institute study that came out and shows that Gov. Romney’s misguided health mandates slowed the income growth and cost Massachusetts 18,000 jobs. If it cost Massachusetts 18,000 jobs, think about what ‘Obamacare’ is going to do to this country. ‘Romneycare’ has driven private insurance costs up by $4.3 billion in Massachusetts.”
Because “Romneycare” increased Massachusetts private insurance costs, Perry said, “It’s cost taxpayers in Iowa, and across this country, nearly $4 billion in Medicaid and Medicare costs. This isn’t just about the state of Massachusetts and the cost to them directly. It’s also costing you.”
Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Romney’s campaign, responded in a statement.
“Gov. Perry was clearly rattled by his poor debate performance in Tampa,” Williams said.
“As a result, he is trying desperately to distract people from the very serious questions that were raised about his record in favor of higher taxes, his support of tuition breaks for illegal immigrants, his attacks on Social Security as an unconstitutional program and his controversial executive order forcing young girls to receive the HPV vaccine.”
Rick Perry is soaring in the polls as a GOP presidential candidate but his legacy as Texas governor continues to haunt him.
One of the Texas governor’s staunchest critics, the Guardian‘s Amanda Marcotte says the governor continues to demonstrate an open hostility toward sex education, family planning, and women.
According to Amanda, though Rick Perry is soaring in the polls as a GOP presidential candidate, his legacy as Texas governor continues to haunt him, especially when it comes to the issue of abortion rights and women in general.
Last week, a U.S. district judge blocked a “draconian anti-abortion regulation” Perry signed into law in May of this year.
The regulation would have required women seeking an abortion to view a sonogram and listen to the fetus’ heartbeat while a doctor rattled off a detailed description of the fetus’ anatomical development — and then forcibly ponder their decision for an additional 24 hours before an abortion could be performed.
The in-dispute regulation, in addition to Perry’s funding cuts to family planning programs, demonstrates his hostility to contraception, abortion rights, women’s health, and sex education. Here is an excerpt:
What’s truly alarming about the law is the searing contempt for women’s dignity and intelligence baked right into it. Women would be required to go through an uncomfortable, invasive vaginal probe sonogram in order to get the picture and audible heartbeat required. They would then be sent home 24 hours to “think” about the decision, putting the Texas government in the position of a schoolteacher sending women to the corner.
Probing “dirty girls” with vaginal wands and then punishing them as though they were naughty children? This seems like Perry and the Texas legislature have mixed up writing laws with scripting pornography. Unfortunately, for the women of Texas, these ritual humiliations dreamed up by Republican legislators aren’t actually sexy fantasies but miserable realities — but for a federal judge remembering that women, too, have constitutional rights.