Thursday, July 23, 2015
Now I am no fan of Rick Perry but yesterday, for the first time in my memory, he made a very sensible statement, no doubt written by someone else and containing some odd words and phrases more fitting to the Evangelicals he courts, but a very sensible statement nevertheless. Here is a Politico article about it.
Rick Perry: Donald Trump will destroy the Republican Party
By Katie Glueck
Politico 7/22/15 3:38 PM EDT
Updated 7/22/15 9:51 PM EDT
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has already emerged as one of the GOP presidential field’s most vocal critics of Donald Trump, ratcheted up his rhetoric again Wednesday as he slammed the real estate mogul’s presidential bid as a “cancer on conservatism” and warned that, left unchecked, Trump could be the demise of the Republican Party.
“He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued,” Perry charged during an address at the Willard Hotel in downtown Washington. “Let no one be mistaken: Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.”
Trump drew the ire of the bulk of the Republican field Saturday, when, during a social conservatives confab in Iowa, he questioned the heroism of Sen. John McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. But Perry was lobbing harsh and persistent criticisms before that, bashing Trump last week over controversial comments the provocateur has made about immigrants who came to the United States illegally, a theme Perry returned to Wednesday.
“Donald Trump, the reality television star, is a great generator of ratings. But Donald Trump the candidate is a sower of division, wrongly demonizing Mexican-Americans for political sport,” Perry said. “He has piqued the interest of some Republican voters who have legitimate concerns about a porous border and broken immigration system. But instead of offering those voters leadership or solutions, he has offered fear and sound bites. This cannot stand.”
In 2011, during his disastrous first presidential run, Perry tussled with his Republican rivals over his defense of the Texas DREAM Act, which allows in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants, charging that those who disagreed “don’t have a heart.” The remark drew fury from conservatives, but with the GOP routed among Hispanic voters in 2012, Perry’s supporters again believe his more compassionate tone will resonate, though he remains a long shot.
(Eric Walker, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, however, said in an email that Perry also has used hot rhetoric about undocumented immigrants, though certainly not on par with Trump. He pointed to a 2014 statement in which Perry claimed there were “over 3,000 homicides by illegal aliens over the course of the last six years,” something PolitiFact concluded was wrong.)
In the meantime, some in the GOP field, including Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, have avoided criticizing Trump over his immigration remarks, though they took issue with his comments about McCain. (Cruz, however, has refrained from criticizing Trump directly.)
But Perry, who is on the bubble for qualifying for the first Republican debate next month, has found that fiery attacks on Trump are the easiest route to national media attention, and he dominated political Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
He earned loud applause from the audience when he expressed outrage over Trump’s comments concerning McCain.
“He couldn’t have endured for five minutes what John McCain endured for five-and-a-half years,” jabbed Perry, noting his own military experience.
And he got in a dig at Trump over remarks made in Iowa that some considered unseemly for an event aimed at social conservatives.
“Most telling to me,” Perry said of Trump, is “his admission that there is not a single time in his life that he sought the forgiveness of God.”
In language that bordered on apocalyptic, Perry urged Republicans to “beware of false prophets” and warned that the Republican Party could go the way of the now-defunct Whig Party if Trump isn’t reined in, likening his views to those of the nativist Know-Nothing Party from the mid-1800s.
“I will not go quiet when this cancer on conservatism threatens to metastasize into a movement of mean-spirited politics that will send the Republican Party to the same place it sent the Whig Party in 1854: the graveyard,” he said.