Gov. Rick Perry is scoring some endorsements from GOP activists and officeholders, and as he confirmed the speculations about his presidential run today, the endorsements accelerated. But support for Perry among his fellow Texas Republicans isn't unanimous, and the Democrats, as you might expect, are vociferously in opposition.
Some went early. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst endorsed Perry this week in San Antonio, while introducing him to state legislators from across the U.S.
Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples came out for Perry today, as did Attorney General Greg Abbott. Through a spokesman, Comptroller Susan Combs says she's for him and plans to help raise money on behalf of his presidential campaign. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson recorded a video endorsing Perry for a Super PAC, Veterans for Rick Perry, more than a week ago.
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul got on board on a few days ago.
As for the most visible Tea Party flag-carriers in each chamber of the Legislature Saturday afternoon — it turns out Perry is 1 for 2. Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is for him, while state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, isn't.
Right now, America needs a leader like Texas Governor Rick Perry to get us off the socialist path President Obama has put us on. Governor Perry is a true conservative who believes in low taxes, a secure border, state’s rights, a fair regulatory environment and who understands that it’s the private sector, not an over bearing government that creates jobs and stimulates the economy. I am honored to endorse and stand by Governor Perry as he charts a course for this nation of which our fore fathers would be proud.
Abbott's press release:
I'm excited my friend Rick Perry is running for President of the United States. Perry's proven record of job growth, fiscal discipline and conservative values are needed in Washington. I enthusiastically endorse and support Governor Rick Perry for President.
America needs jobs and Rick Perry knows how to create them. He has balanced budgets in the worst of economic times and cut job-killing taxes. Rick Perry has exhibited the type of common-sense, conservative leadership in Texas that our nation desperately needs and I am proud to endorse him for President.
Patrick's email to the Tribune:
I was the first, and most vocal Senator supporting the Governor in his last race for Governor. I plan to campaign for him and help him however I can whether or not I am running for the U.S Senate. I predicted a long time ago he would run, he would win the nomination, and he would become the next President.
Simpson's email to the Tribune:
I respect Gov. Perry as an establishment politician, but our nation needs a principled statesman who tells the truth and does what he says and who will limit civil government's use of force to its constitutional limits even when he can get away with doing otherwise.
Perry did focus on a critical issue in his NCSL speech — out-of-control federal spending. He then boasted of cutting the Texas budget by $15 billion as if he was a fiscal conservative. The fact is that if you take away the smoke and mirrors, we increased the budget and built in a huge shortfall for the coming biennium.
If you discount the $12 billion of one-time federal stimulus dollars in the present 2010-11 biennium and add back $4 billion due to the permanent school fund in the 2012-13 biennium (but deferred to the 2014-15 biennium) and add the necessary anticipated funds ($4-6 billion) for Medicaid for 24 months instead of 18 or so months, and get rid of the speed-ups of tax revenue, the Governor and the legislature increased the next budget by at least $1.5 billion. I do not think it is appropriate to boast of this kind of "balanced budget" especially when you leave in at least $420 million for corporate handouts. The Texas Constitution sadly allows for corporate welfare, but it requires provision for public free schools.
Would Perry be better than Obama, probably. However, he will no doubt get away with promoting programs which would be decried and opposed if they were espoused by a Democrat — just like President Bush's prescription drug entitlement which dwarfs many Democratic entitlement programs.
State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, told the Tribune by phone:
I think it's great for Texas that we have another candidate for president of the United States. It would be greater if he would win the presidency and take Obama out of office. Texas has been hit hard by Obama and his administration just because he lost Texas. So I will be supporting Gov. Perry for President.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn welcomed Perry to the race without endorsing him:
I’m pleased that Governor Perry is joining an already strong field of Republican Presidential candidates and that the Texas success story will play an important role in the debate ahead.
Under Governor Perry’s leadership, Texas has been a shining example that less government, lower taxes and less regulation of our small businesses helps to grow jobs and move our economy forward. It’s a striking contrast to the big government, big spending, liberal mindset of the current Administration.
I look forward to watching everyone in our strong Republican field work to make President Obama a one-term President, turn this nation around, and put us back on a path toward economic prosperity.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, bashed the new candidate in a press release:
All hat and no cattle.
That’s what we say in Texas about folks who are all bluster and posturing.
That’s Gov. Rick Perry, who has finally made it clear that he is running for President of the United States.
The Texas miracle that Gov. Rick Perry claims is a myth. Texans are hurting after a decade of Rick Perry as Governor. says Congressman Lloyd Doggett, stalwart advocate for more than three decades for the values of working families.
Gov. Perry has done incredible damage to education—from kindergarten through high school and from college through graduate school.
He wants to eliminate Medicare, privatize Social Security, and continue to subsidize his corporate cronies, while cutting everything that helps working Texas families.
The rest of American needs to know the truth about Rick Perry.
Lloyd Doggett says Beware. Don’t let Rick Perry mess with America the way he messed with Texas.
The Texas Democratic Party responded to the announcement by unveiling an anti-Perry website:
Today, Governor Rick Perry announced his intention to run for President of the United States.
As much as we want to rid Texas of Perry, we don't want to inflict his anti-education, anti-job policies on the entire nation, either. So today, we launched MeetRickPerry.com.
Texas Democrats have fought Rick Perry longer than anyone. There's not an oddsmaker in the country who would bet against us in a game of Rick Perry scandal trivia.