During his brief run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Rick Perry tired something different- an image makeover. To give himself the aura of an intellectual, a candidate with gravitas, he started wearing glasses. In the end, no one bought the chicanery. Everyone realized he was the same guy who, during his last presidential run in 2012, got tripped up during a debate trying to count to three – his infamous “oops” moment.
On September 11, 2015, during a conference in Missouri, and still sporting the new bespectacled look, Perry formally announced his withdrawal from the presidential race. The thing is, much of what Perry said that day, and during most of his short run, made perfect sense!
Two months after Trump entered the Republican race, Perry compared the billionaire/TV celebrity to a “cancer” on the conservative movement.
Said Perry, “Let no one be mistaken – Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded. It cannot be pacified or ignored, for it will destroy a set of principles that has lifted more people out of poverty than any force in the history of the civilized world – the cause of conservatism.”
While still the four-eyed candidate, Perry often stressed he was “offended” by Trump’s comments about Mexico sending rapists and drug dealers to cross the border. After Trump questioned John McCain’s record as a war hero (Trump likes people who aren’t captured) Perry called on Trump to drop out of the race, saying the attack made him unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.
Perry, still wearing specs, also made this sagacious comment about the presumptive Republican presidential nominee: he “offers a barking carnival act that can best be described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery and mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.”
During his exit speech, Perry wisely observed, “We can secure the border and reform our immigration system without inflammatory rhetoric, without base appeals that divide us based on race, culture and creed… Demeaning people of Hispanic heritage is not just ignorant, it betrays the example of Christ. We can enforce our laws and our borders, and we can love all who live within our borders, without betraying our values.”
Perhaps this was indeed a new, smarter Perry? Maybe the voters gave up too early on the two-time presidential contender? Maybe the glasses transmitted a level of rationality to his brain?
Or maybe not.
Yesterday, the former Texas governor endorsed cancer for president – Donald J. Trump.
“I believe in the process,” Perry said during an interview with CNN, “and the process has said Donald Trump will be our nominee and I’m going to support him and help him and do what I can.” Hint: I’m available for cancer VP.
News reports failed to say whether or not Perry was wearing his glasses when he made his surprising endorsement.
Photo | cbsnews.com