I’m a Perry girl, through and through. That being said, it cut through the core of me when I started seeing angry calls of “Traitor!” and “Sellout!” all directed at the man I have maintained since 2011 to be the most natural fit to lead this nation back to strength and prosperity that we’ve had since Reagan.
It had to do with a CNN report that Governor Rick Perry had endorsed Donald Trump’s nomination, and was even open to running as his VP.
I struggled with the idea of even touching the story, but decided to let it pass, at least for the night. I wanted time to process it. This all came to light mere hours after I’d posted on the death of the GOP and the need for a third party.
In that article, I heavily advocated for drafting Rick Perry as our conservative option to what has become of the GOP, with Donald Trump as the new face of the party.
Do I still feel that way after the CNN story?
With every fiber of my being, yes. I absolutely feel Rick Perry remains the best man for the job.
I have a different take on what happened with the CNN story and Dana Bash’s account of her conversation with Governor Perry than that of my colleague, Jay Caruso.
Let’s begin with the fact that there is no audio of the conversation Ms. Bash said took place. There is only her given account, which left many holes, on closer inspection. I’m not suggesting that she fabricated the conversation, but let’s not forget that CNN is also the outlet that falsely reported on Ben Carson’s exit from the race, then conveniently hung it around the neck of Senator Ted Cruz.
CNN is not above embellishments and sideways reporting, especially if there is a way to stir up outrage and ratings, and every subsequent story about Perry’s “endorsement” is based on the CNN story.
Let’s begin with this statement from the CNN story:
Perry, speaking by phone from his hometown of Roundtop, Texas, acknowledged Trump is not his ideal choice. When Perry was a candidate for president earlier in the 2016 cycle, he was the first to come out and criticize Trump and question his conservative credentials, calling his candidacy a “cancer on conservatism.”
“He is not a perfect man. But what I do believe is that he loves this country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people and he will listen to them,” Perry said Thursday.
“He wasn’t my first choice, wasn’t my second choice, but he is the people’s choice,” Perry added.
That isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. Remember Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s lackluster support for Ted Cruz? That was still a stronger endorsement than Perry’s words for Trump.
This was not an endorsement. It was an admission of defeat and an extreme form of graciousness. Anyone who has spent any amount of time with Governor Perry knows him to be a gracious man, so this was not out of character.
“When Ted said he is done and suspending his campaign — that was the last individual who had a chance,” he said, speaking of beating Trump.
“I believe in the process, 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,” Perry said.
He held the line for Ted Cruz until the very end, but he had said many times that he would support the nominee. No doubt, he didn’t believe that nominee would be Trump. He had said repeatedly that he believed Cruz would take it. Governor Perry is, however, a man of his word and this one likely was a very hard pill to swallow.
“Anyone who is considering a third-party run does not understand what is going on in this country — does not understand the anger that the country has,” Perry said.
“I don’t think it accomplishes anything,” he added. “I ran to be the president of the United States, and when it became clear the electorate didn’t want me to be president, I stepped away.”
Humility. Governor Perry has never been the kind of leader who put his own ambitions over the will of the people. That’s the very reason he is a good leader.
When asked if Perry would consider being Trump’s running mate, he left the door wide open.
“I am going to be open to any way I can help. I am not going to say no,” Perry said.
So does this mean he is vying for the VP slot? Not at all. The article goes on to state that Perry hasn’t spoken with Trump in at least six months. What his statement says is that he’ll help the nominee.
It’s clear that Governor Perry feels Hillary Clinton is the greater of two evils. I’m not so sure, but everybody is different.
Governor Perry has always been about preserving conservatism, and likely feels the GOP is still the best vehicle for advancing conservatism in the world. He is hoping that with enough good people surrounding him, the damaging effects of a Trump presidency can be buffered.
He’s not a traitor. He’s not a sellout. He’s just wrong.