Friday, August 19, 2011

But That Was Then

No one ever said Texas Governor Rick Perry was a slouch when it came to campaigning, at least campaigning in Texas. Campaigning on the national stage, however, is something else. Gov. Good Hair is beginning to discover that. Crowds at events are not always adoring supporters, all willing to overlook outrageous and unsupported assertions. Reporters sometimes do their homework and are just itching to demonstrate what they've discovered. Perry came up against both this week.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a voter in Dover, New Hampshire Thursday that he had no plans to change the Social Security system for those who are nearing the point where they would receive benefits. ...

"The folks who are either on or soon to be on, they don't have anything to worry about. The program is going to be there," he said.

That voter had good reason to be concerned. Gov. Perry's comments on Social Security and Medicare and other such "entitlements" in the past haven't been so soothing:

In his book, "Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington," Perry refers to Social Security as "an illegal Ponzi scheme." [Emphasis added]

That's pretty direct, isn't it?

Obviously worried about the fallout from the statement, Perry's campaign staff now suggest that what the governor really means is that the subject needs to be discussed thoroughly, not just hidden away. Perry himself has said that the whole issue really belongs with the states, not the federal government. Still, it's pretty hard to just walk away from a phrase as inflammatory as "illegal Ponzi scheme."

Welcome to the race, Rick.

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