Rick Perry’s timeline
It was perhaps the most awkward few moments of televised political debate in recent US history, ending with a long pause and one word so memorable that it has entered the political lexicon: “Oops.”
Rick Perry, Texas’s longest-serving governor and the man who bowed out of the 2012 Republican primaries with a live-TV brain freeze, has announced he will not make another bid for the State House, stoking speculation he plans to focus on the 2016 presidential race once his gubernatorial term ends in 2014.
Perry was elected lieutenant governor in 1998 with the backing of the then governor George W Bush whom he succeeded as governor when Bush was confirmed as president in December 2000 after weeks of wrangling over the vote count.
“The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership,” Perry said at a news conference earlier today at a Caterpillar dealership in San Antonio owned by Peter Holt, one of his top financial supporters and the chairman and CEO of the San Antonio Spurs.
He said he would make announcements about his future, “in due time and I will arrive at that decision appropriately.” He has recently rehired Mark Miner, who worked on his 2012 presidential bid.
Perry governed in a conservative populist style, campaigning against Barack Obama’s sweeping health plan dubbed ‘‘Obamacare’’, and embracing the Tea Party movement after it emerged as a political force in 2009. He presided over a state economy buoyed by an oil boom and stripped away corporate taxes and regulations.
He is famous for his enthusiastic support of the death penalty, executing 261 death row inmates so far, more than any other governor in modern history.
In his book Fed Up!, a treatise against the federal government, he wrote, “If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas.”
In fitting with his state’s ardent support of the Second Amendment right to bear arms, while jogging in 2010 he pulled a laser-sighted pistol from his running shorts and shot a coyote he said was menacing his daughter’s dog.
In 2012 he led polls for a time during his bid to win the Republican nomination as candidate for president when his campaign went off the rails.
His popularity plunged after he said it would be heartless not to offer college tuition assistance to the children of illegal immigrants, and collapsed after his disastrous performance in a candidates debate.
Perry had set out to list the three major federal government departments he would scrap should he become president.
“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,” he said during the debate in Michigan in 2011.
After a few moments, the eventual nominee Mitt Romney offered help, suggesting “EPA”, the acronym for America’s Environmental Protection Agency.
That was not right either, so Perry tried again.
“The third agency of government I would — I would do away with, Education, the…,” Perry struggled on.
“Commerce,” someone else prompted.
“Commerce and, let’s see,” Perry answered. “I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”
Texas’s attorney general, Greg Abbott, is seen as a possible contender for Perry’s job. He praised Perry for keeping “Washington in check, working to block an intrusive federal government from meddling in our personal lives and preventing the heavy-hand of government from stifling small businesses in Texas.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.