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Does Rick Perry's lavish lifestyle match his country boy image?
September 12th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Does Rick Perry's lavish lifestyle match his country boy image?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Rick Perry would have us believe he's a country boy at heart, a down-home cowboy who can relate to the plight of ordinary Americans.

But there's another side to the Texas governor.

Politico reports that for years, Perry – who makes $150,000 a year as governor – has enjoyed additional lavish perks and travel, mostly funded by wealthy supporters.

Texas donors have paid for the governor and his family to travel around the world, sometimes on private jets; stay in luxury hotels and resorts; vacation in Colorado ski towns; and attend tons of sporting events and concerts.

Perry has also accepted a wide range of expensive gifts over the years, including 22 pairs of cowboy boots, some costing more than $500 a pop. Somebody even pays his cable TV bill.

Also, the taxpayers are paying the rent, at $8,500 a month, for Perry's 4,600-square-foot Austin mansion. The governor and his family have been living in the five-bedroom, seven-bath mansion since 2007 while the governor's mansion undergoes repair. Four years? What kind of repairs are those?

But it's all copacetic in the Lone Star State, which has some of the loosest ethics and campaign rules in the country.

Nonetheless, it's hard to imagine that supporters aren't buying influence when they lavish all these perks on the governor.

Some donors have wound up with appointments to state commissions or million-dollar state grants to businesses they're involved in.

Perry's camp insists that this is all on the up and up. A spokeswoman tells Politico that the governor fully discloses all gifts and travel in his financial disclosure statements.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

George in Michigan:
Just another ego at work. I long for the "what you see is what you get" type, but Mr. Perry is too slippery to qualify. Where is Harry Truman when we really need him? Perhaps he has come back as Ron Paul.

James in Texas City, Texas:
As someone who has followed pistol packing Perry throughout his career, I can tell you quite honestly that this buffoon is a card carrying, full-blown fraudster. He actually makes 'W' look good, well, almost. And remember, the governor of Texas has much less power and authority than most governors. Having lived here for 15 years and originally from California, I would venture the collective IQ of this state is only slightly above a carrot.

Joy on Facebook:
Another fake cowboy from Texas...just what the country needs!

Michael in Alexandria, Virginia:
Die-hard Perry supporters (like rich people and his funders) like politicians who stay bought. This won't hurt him at all. Indeed, news stories like this will be evidence of persecution by the Main Stream Media – so they may work in his favor.

JD:
Ask people from his hometown in Texas. They pretty much think he's a fraud. Even his former Boy Scout leader says he wouldn't vote for the guy.

Greg in Arkansas:
The perception is that Rick Perry is a "Southern Gentleman" sipping ice tea on the front porch, but in reality, there is a whole lot of suffering going on behind the barn. Voters need to beware, look deep at this man and his record because the "front porch" just ain't big enough for everyone.

Billie in Texas:
Texans would elect a prairie dog if you hung a 'Republican' label on it.

Jimmy:
Sure it does, Jack. What's wrong with being a rich cowboy? Let me tell you that it is much better than being a poor cowboy.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Gov. Rick Perry • Republican Party • Republicans
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Probably not Jack but then again things are seldom what they seem in Washington or on the path to arriving there. Remember all those promises of hope and change? Maybe in your next segment you can explain what has changed for the better and why there is less hope now then ever of our economy recovering.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  2. Frances

    Of couse not. He is just a big phony. Talk about a flip flopper, that's Rick.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  3. J.D.

    Ask people from his hometown in Texas. They pretty much think he's a fraud. Even his former Boy Scout leader says he wouldn't vote for the guy.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  4. Jk from Minnesota

    Just just reaffirms to me that he's just another slick talking politician who doesn't really know how to fix anything except to help out his big contributors – the same problem that we already have in Washington.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  5. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Die hard Perry supporters like rich people and his funders like politicians who stay bought. This won't hurt him at all. Indeed, news stories like this will be evidence of persecution by the Main Stream Media – so they may work in his favor.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  6. david

    More bourgosie and vanity plated money worshipping powermongers.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  7. Carla from Alabama

    Hardly. How dare he talk about taking away Social Security and Medicare when he lives off the goodwill of wealthy benefactors - who will inevitably want something in return. American workers have paid for the Social Security and Medicare to which we’re entitled. What did HE do to merit the lifestyle lavished on him by others – or perhaps a better question would be – what WILL he be obligated to do for those others, if elected?

    September 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  8. David in Tampa

    Jack, I grew up in Texas. Perry is what we called a Drug Store Cowboy. He is a self promoting, wheeler dealer and snake oil salesman. I wouldn't buy a new car from this guy much less the used, reworked junk he is trying to peddle. I tired of the Lyndon Johnson types long ago. No need to clutter up the White House with cow chips again so soon.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  9. David, from Plant City Florida

    Nope, he and the rest of the political wackadoo republicans who spurn public jobs and then get paid with our tax dollars are Hypocrites.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  10. Richard C.

    C'mon, Jack! Can you name any past president in the last fifty years that was poor? I thought not. Judge the man by his political accumen, not the size of his wallet.By the way, there's a rich man in the White House right now.
    Malvern,PA

    September 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  11. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    He lives the way it is in big Texas politics. This lifestyle goes way back in our great state just like Lyndon Johnson. Money, power and big oil provide for those that they know they can buy and get the tax cuts and regulations they want to make more money. He really is not a leader, he is a divider which fits right in to the current GOP.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  12. Roy Birdzell

    Are you for real? Who, besides you and political junkies even know about what "lifestyle" Perry leads? Why don't you ask some serious questions? Like for one, why don't we have "real debates", not media sponsered ones where the news anchor is more interested in a "catch you" mistake rather than a real discourse on an issue. How on earth can a candidate respond to an issue in a 2 minute response and a 1 minute rejoiner. Can you image where the Health Care Bill would have gone if there was a truely in depth discussion on the proposal in 2008?
    Roy – Jax FL

    September 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  13. Mark Ivy

    This is a description of far too many politicians. His down home image is just that...an image, a facade, which plays well to the voter. By and large voters want their politicians to relate whether that is reality or not. Remember how George Bush the First lost the re-election in part by voters feeling a disconnect when he went through the grocery store line? That hurt the President more than almost anything else he could have done. The ability of a politician to convey a sense of "I am one of you" plays a much larger role than voters would like to admit. The "out of touch" with how I feel or think politician is doomed to fail even if his or her policy stances are more in line with our personal ideology. The politician who can make you "feel" he or she is your neighbor, your friend, your BFF is the one that gets the vote whether you disagree with him or her ideologically or not. A sad commentary on the American voter. We need to start voting on the reality and not so much on feelings.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  14. Jim in Alabama

    I suppose Perry is no more a hypocrite than most Republicans running, since it seems that most of them are. Problem is, we keep electing millionaires to represent us and they know nothing about the common man or woman or our problems not to mention that they could care less. They're all either rich or seeking to become rich and you do that by siding with special interests and big corporations. The American political system is broken and may require either a revolt by the people and/or a total collapse of the system. I believe one or both is coming soon.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  15. Danny

    Keene, NH
    Like many politicians his rich lifestyle is paid for by rich "friends", which in turn is the reason why this country is so corporately corrupted. Does his image as a down home country boy matter? Spin Doctors and Corporate Buddies will make his image into whatever is needed for him to win the nomination. His image as a "down home country boy" might as well be that of a puppet.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  16. Lou, Fayetteville, NC

    He grew up poor. He has made a little money and he wears it. I think he probably knows who he is and will be a good catalyst for the Republicans.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  17. John from Alabama

    Jack: Gov. Rick Perry's outlook on life is as big as Texas. He talks the Texas home boy attitude, and uses Texas slang like everybody is from El Paso or Dallas. He might have been poor at one time in his life, but that's been to many years back to remember. He trys to use that motto, "of I'm just a poor boy from South Texas, bit", but he sitting very well with cash. In 2000, there was a Texas fellow who led us into T.A.R.P., and 2 wars which will eventually cost us $3.2 trillion dollars. I am not buying Texas today, and I do not believe this nation will, either.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  18. citizenG

    Apparently his lifestyle and how he arrived into that lifestyle is yet another similarity between him and W. I'd much rather have a candidate who's lived in the real world!

    September 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  19. Mark Oklahoma City

    Lavish Lifestyle? You mean like vacationing in Martha's Vineyard and sending your kids to "private" schools and driving around in limos, while living in a huge house with enormous pillars out front? That kind of Lavish Lifestyle?

    September 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  20. Brad, Portland, OR

    Perry has been a government employee his entire adult life, in one position or another.

    He's never worked in the private sector... always got a government paycheck.

    Yet today, he's a multimillionaire and lives a lavish lifestyle.

    Gee, how'd that happen on the taxpayer's dime???

    September 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  21. Jenna Roseville CA

    Does Rick Perry's lavish lifestyle – paid for mostly by taxpayers and wealthy friends and donors – match his down-home, aw-shucks, country boy image?

    Jack, the same uninformed voters that fell for this image from GW will fall for it from Perry. Except Perry was actually born in Texas.

    He will not get the GOP nomination, he is only a bit of fun for us to watch.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    September 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  22. john/omaha

    what's thw difference between him and the rest of the worthless scum in washington. he'll fit right in.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  23. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Every candidate for high office touts their humble origin and tries to connect with the common man. But they are ALL faking it! Even President Obama, who's mother collected welfare when he was growing up, is a Harvard graduate and millionaire author. So Governor Perry will be OK because he has a humble origin and most will forgive him for living large like the stereotypical Texans we saw on the old TV show "Dallas" did.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  24. Hongli

    Jack, just think back to 2000 – 2008 . Doesn't that sounds familar? All Texans like to carry a "swagger" and live on Taxpayers hard earn monies especially those without "COMMON-SENSE". This guy is a scum-bag in the eyes of the George Bush's supporters and many other Republicans while on the other hand Mit Romney is filled with SCUM and just got the support of Tim Pawlenty-- go figure !

    September 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  25. George in Michigan

    Just another ego at work. I long for the "what you see is what you get" type but Mr. Perry is too slippery to qualify, Where is Harry Truman when we really need him? Perhaps he has come back as Ron Paul.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  26. Denny from Tacoma

    Rick Perry's country boy image is a good clue of what a real fake he is; never trust an actor.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  27. Dennis north carolina

    Perry is a typical Texan living a lavish life style like a oil Barron which is one of his big money backers. if elected he would have to pay his backers with favor just like bush did with his war for oil.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  28. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    To me he comes across as a big phony with 1 foot on a hay bale and a piece of straw hanging from his lips. He reminds me of a B rated actor out of a Roy Roger movie. I think this kind of act will eventually wear thin with the voters, maybe not the tea party voters, because they seem to really like it. For me I want a candidate to tell me exactly how he will change things. I don't want someone talking to me, beating around the bush, using a Texas accent acting like he is John Wayne.That might work in Texas but not in the big leagues.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  29. LEE Jr.II Barton MS

    Onle 2 some GOPs but not the majority of them thank so.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  30. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    Chances are most country boys that have grown old are on that "Ponzi scheme", Social Security. Birds of a feather they ain't, pardner.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  31. dave in nashville

    Televangelists all lead lavish lifestyles and go down in flames after everyone sees them for what they are, and this guy will be no different.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  32. pat in michigan

    Not in the least Jack!This guy reminds me of most of the televangelists selling condo's in heaven and healing with the touch of his hands.What a phony!!!

    September 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  33. jimmy

    Sure it does, Jack. What's wrong with being a rich cowboy? Let me tell you that it is much better than being a poor cowboy.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  34. Loren

    Hey, that's just Texas style,or, if you prefer candidate for President style a la President Obama and his lavish lifestyle running for President. His lifestyle should be a warning sign for the American people, this isn't a guy who's worked for what he has, so how is he going to understand the needs of the American people. All talk, no substance.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  35. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    No. But why should it? He's a career politician isn't he?

    September 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  36. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    He would not be the first politician who lives by perception, and not who he really is.

    Yet we keep electing and considering those who live in these lies of perception and deception.

    It says more about those who consider this person a viable choice.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  37. Dave - Phx, Az

    No and the fact that people are rallying around him just proves P.T. Barnum right, except I think we are up to every 10 secodns now instead of every minute.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  38. Greg in Arkansas

    Jack, go to the library, pick up a 150 year old copy of Webster's Dictionary, look up the definition of a "Southern Plantation Owner", substitute the word "taxpayer" for "slave" and suddenly, it sort of reads like Rick Perry's Bio.
    The perception is that he is a "Southern Gentleman" sipping ice tea on the front porch but in reality, there is a whole lot of suffering is going on out behind the barn. Voters need to beware, look deep at this man and his record because the "front porch" just ain't big enough for everyone.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  39. Stephen Charchuk

    Of course he's a hypocrite. He's a politician.

    -Stephen
    Yarmouth, NS Canada

    September 12, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  40. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Best front man Haliburton money can buy. Once a supporter of Bubba Clinton and a Democrat too. Beware of the John Wayne image he's a Scott Walker in disguise. Once in office we'll have a Oligopoly King

    September 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  41. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, Mr. Perry's just a little too slick for me. I get the impression he'd be good at running a shell game - you know, guess which shell the pea is under. I'd be inclined to keep my hands in my pockets if I were to get up close and personal.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  42. Randy

    Of course not. But isn't this just one more in a long line of country club millionaires like Reagan, h.w. Bush,. bush jr., and rush limbaugh who use the illiterate to further their goal of destroying the middle class. Whenever their power and money are threatened by the populace waking up you can believe like clockwork they pull out their cowboy hats and that country twang with some good old fashioned racism that will bring their cattle back in line.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  43. Mel - Houston

    That's the system Jack; they're just grooming a yes man.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  44. John B

    Perry is just another run-at-the-mouth self-grandizing politician who loves to see his face on tv or in the papers or in magazines. He'll gladly take what anybody gives him for a political favor while telling you how great he is. Unbelieveable!

    September 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  45. Bill of New Mexico

    Not at all!

    It is a long and devious way from his boyhood on a dry-land stock farm.

    If Perry's campaign team is careful they can utilize Perry's selling his influence–like any other politician! They are all the same.

    America has always had a weakness for the wealthy and famous.

    To build a facade will not even be a challenge.

    America will leap to swallow the facade as the truth.

    I do not like it.

    But, this is the way the American Democracy works.

    The campaigns' advertising harnesses nothing but emotions of the hotest kind.

    My class mates in the eighth grade were better informed than the American voters.

    What can I say. At this time of campaigning, I myself have put my common sense aside and have lost my mind. I should be disqualified!

    September 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  46. Gerry

    The current occupant of the White House wasn't poverty stricken by a long shot. Why should Perry's wealth be a consideration? Find something else to pick on Jack. The only requirement for a presidential candidate should be a U.S. citizen within the interpretation provided by the U.S. Constitution, well educated, not be a convicted felon
    and hopefully raised in this country to appreciate American values and traditions.

    Jack, my question to you is how many members of The Congress are current in their taxes?

    Gerry
    Ash Fork, Az.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  47. Paulette in Dallas

    This information should plainly spell out for the American people what life would be like for them if Perry was elected to the Oval Office. The writing is on the wall.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  48. Paul From Austin Texas

    Up to a point it does. You see the Governors Mansion had major fire damage by what was hinted as an act of terror but only reported in the local press in detail. I am not a Perry supporter for one reason. At one point he started politics as democrat and switched to republican. He is a true life long polition and will do anything to win an eledtion. If he does not get the nomination or even if he does and does not beat Obama he will come back to Texas telling us all that live her it is time to susede from the US and to become our own country again. He feels like he is the King of Texas and it can not be elected President of the US he will still try to remain King of Texas either as a state or a country.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  49. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    No, the contrast between the country-boy and the venal, stupid person Perry really is, make the Governor just about the biggest hypocrite in the country. But what is really frightening to me as a Canadian is that Americans might elect him president, let alone making him the Republican front-runner. What are you thinking?

    September 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  50. Jerry A - Toronto

    Like everything else in politics Jack, it's all smoke and mirrors. The more I see of these GOP debates the more I want to throw up. Rick Perry is just playing an aw shucks kinda guy to appeal to a certain demographic, nothing more (acting 101). As for him using taxpayer dollars to whoop is up Texas style, golly gee wiz what new, every politician dips into the bank of the middle class and poor and has a great old time while the citizens go broke. The only responsible adult on the GOP stage is Ron Paul and everyone knows it. To bad the media is just as guilty of using smoke and mirrors to pretend he barely exists. Maybe if Ron said aw shucks more often, bent to the will of the lobbyists, spent lavishly and stopped telling the truth, he too would be a media contrived front runner like Rick, Mitt and Michele.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  51. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    No, it doesn't. How can someone who is renting a mansion for $8.500 a month (at taxpayer expense), who is gifted cowboy boots that cost more than $500 a pair, and who gets to fly in private jets possibly believe he, or she, "can relate to the plight of ordinary Americans"? No one I know gets those kinds of job perks, or makes $150,000 a year. I'll hear what Perry, Romney, Bachmann, and the rest have to say when they are on the verge of losing their home.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  52. Alex in wisconsin

    No it doesn't, but it does fit in well with the stereotypical "Rich trying to fool the less wealthy" image i have of most elected Republicans. He will do fine, especially among Tea Party backers who fit the same image. Don't forget to tune into the debate tonight, Perry's true colors will be shown for all who aren't already blind.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  53. James - St Petersburg FL

    I don't think it matters. The GOP has a history of nominating extremely wealthy people with a southern drawl.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  54. Mr. D

    If the country is that niave to believe "the carp on the cowboy boots routine" then we are in bigger trouble than we think.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  55. Tina Tx

    Jack none of the cowboys I know live this high off the hog but you are missing the bigger picture most working cowboys do not have the inside track to riches like Rick Perry has. I wonder since Rick Perry is wealthy will he not take his social security & medicare when he reaches that age? Why don't one of your question askers on tonite's program ask that of all the Republican candiates?

    September 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  56. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Jack,I think Mr.Perry's life style can't come close to matching the President and his wife's life style,with their lavish parties at the White House,Michelle's over the top vacation,and their outlandishly expensive dates,and how about the chosen one's coronation,compared to President Obama,Rick Perry really is a country hick!!

    September 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  57. Karl in Flint

    Surely you are kidding, and I know your name is Jack. Cowboys don't live that way. It's "K" Street in Austin like it is in Washington for Congress. To have loose ethics, you have to have ethics. Perry, and apparently most of Texas, have none. Does his "financial disclosure statement" tell Texans what those donations/gifts bought,or is that classified? Truman rebuilt the White House structurally in a lot less time.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  58. ben

    not surprising, he is a repub from texas ,tring to be the next GWB, I HOPE AMERICAN will be smarter this time.ben in amsterdam

    September 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  59. Katty

    Isn't this going a bit too far Jack. What does your rhetoric have to do with Perry's run for office?
    Romney is my first choice but I could live with a Perry run...long before I'll make the same mistake I did in 2008.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  60. Rob in NC

    All of these guys, and gals, tell us how they grew up poor and they know what its like to be an "average" American. I believe they do remember the little people.... their the ones they walk on, over, and through to get to the next wad of cash that is waived their way. Rob in NC

    September 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  61. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,

    No his 'image' doesn't match his lifestyle. He is bought and paid for by special interests and the Oil conglomerates. He needs to get a new shirt that says "Property of Exxon-Mobil" (like the old college shirts that said "Property of University of Texas Athletic Dept.".

    If people are dumb enough to put him into office as President then we deserve to become a 3rd world country. Then God help us all.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  62. Michael ZEdwardsville, Illinois

    Oh-Oh....Perry's liifestyle points to his being a party animal who will used The White House for lavish dinners, Air Force One for endless junkets, and both Camp David and Texas for many vacations. What we need is a focused president, doing his job, unlike Conghress, busy fixing a broken government,unemployment, and a busted budget.. not one who is focused on having a good time.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  63. Dave, Orlando, FL

    That depends. To ordinary mortals like us, of course not. But if you are a Tea Party/Republican it does. In case you haven’t noticed, particularly during the last decade, most politicians with an “R” after their names are hypocrites. They feel no need to deal with life on the same terms as we have to. We pay the freight for them, so why should they. That makes us the idiots, not them. While we contend with underwater mortgages, they are living in 4,600 sq. ft. mansions while their “other” mansion is being repaired. Us and them are the operative words here.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  64. wayne leonard from illinois

    It doesn't matter if he's fake Jack. All most republicans, and the boys in the back room are looking for is someone they can beat Obama with. It's going to be a long 13 months until the next election!

    September 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  65. curtis in philadelphia

    No, but what would you expect from a Republican. Republicans are the "do as I say, not as I do" party. The party who could care less how much money Bush spent during his presidency, but when a Democrat, facing almost certain national financial disaster wants to spend, "oh no you don't"! Republican Eric Cantor was for weather disaster relief when Bush was president, but now that Obama is in office, "oh no you don't"! Republicans in office today are all about austerity, just not for themselves. So no, Perry's hypocritical lifestyle won't matter a bit.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  66. Pete in Milton, FL

    As the previous idiot president from Texas would say, "fool me once, ah ah ah, you can't fool me again". Rick Perry is as phony as a seven dollar bill...but a LOT of voters will be too ignorant and gullible to see it.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  67. Joe R - Houston, TX

    Rick Perry is a plastic Neo-Con like Romney, Cain, Pawlenty, Gingrich & Huntsman – all of them trying to sound unique while parasitically parroting Ron Paul. Everyone knows Congressman Paul is the only steadfast constitutional conservative who won't have to lie when swearing allegiance to the constitution in his oath of office.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  68. Ron WPAFB

    Jack, his lavish lifestyle is exactly what I'd expect from a fake, a fraud, a swindler, snake oil salesman. The guy is bought and paid for by the biggest Big Businesses. He is so out of touch with the common man, he thinks everyone in Texas likes him and as one who spent most of his life in San Antonio, he's wrong. He is a Bush clone, even though that science evades his pea brain. What troubles me but also makes my point that the American People are gullible and don't pay attention to details, he has a large following. Hopefully not large enough. If he gets elected, the IQ of the entire country will drop 100 points!

    September 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  69. Evinia Bruce

    not only is his "image " a sham ..everything about this man is a sham ...I'm serioisly asking .."Is there something in the water down there that makes you people STUPID??!! ..surely you can't be serious ...Perry as a PRESIDENTIAL wanna-be???...do you never learn any lessons whatsoever???..
    .Senior citizens [ T-Baggers ]get insulted whenever it is suggested they aren't "as sharp as they used to be".so think about what you hear and are told .....
    .Rick Perry represents everything that you do not want as POTUS .slick...joined at the hip with big oil,pharmacudicals,,insurance comps..,put to death a very possible innocent man [and having T-Bs CHEERING!!!!!!]the lowest educational system in the US,..anti-science..anti- global warming ..would turn the US into a theocracy ...the list goes on and on .
    .PLEASE people ..DON'T make another catastrophic mistake . you nor the world will survive another morom in the white house...
    Kelowna B.C Canada

    September 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  70. Susan

    Texas Governors always have an image. George W Bush always had the down home aaccent even though he had an MBA, a father who was a Cngress man an Ambassador and head of the CIA. It's jus the way for Texans. LBJ pretended he cared about the poor. Only the poor he removed from the south and send to Essex County NJ. They collected welfare and had 6-12 illegitimate children. LBJ then played hero and cut Federal income taxes. We of Essex County were then burdened with the payments through property taxes to apoint where we could no longer afford our homes. HE is just another Texan long on brag and short on delivery.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  71. Eve of Texas

    No, but Perry voters have never been accused of understanding this duplicity. They're more interested in being a republican than a free-thinking American. We've recently had another rhinestone cowboy who graduated at the bottom of his class in the Whitehouse. Why anyone would put another one in in the WH is beyond me. Eve of Texas

    September 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  72. john in NC

    But it's all copacetic in the Lone Star State, which has some of the loosest ethics and campaign rules in the country.
    Looser than Chicago! GET REAL!

    September 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  73. Kristi

    It's unbelieveable to me, that he can even be a candidate for the POTUS with all of this in his background. I refuse to vote for someone who doesn't want a strong Federal government yet he wants to run it? That doesn't make sense. That's like going to a Doctor who is a faith healer. Crazy man! Love you Jack! Kristi from Milwaukie,Oregon.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  74. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    Ron Paul Group Paints Perry, Romney As “Pretty Boys”.
    Elect a true presidential 'material' person... nothing to hide ... no-one he has to please ... no ties with the "big boys!"; just an intelligent conservative man that's got guts to run for president!

    September 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  75. Rick McDaniel

    No, but I have never seen a politician that didn't live well, at any level of politics.

    That should tell us why those people are in politics, now shouldn't it?

    September 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  76. Bob D Iowa

    When it comes to wealth and power there is no wrong.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  77. Annie, Atlanta

    Honestly, Jack, having grown up on a farm and now living in GA, I never saw a whole lot of country boy in this creep. Snakeoil salesman is more like it. But that seems to appeal to Republican voters these days. Go figure.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  78. Fay in Abilene Tx

    Only if f he is J. R. Ewing's Austin kinfolk.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  79. lou

    I wouldn't care if a politician had a lavish lifestyle that he earned by the sweat of his own brow. But these seem to be gifts given to him just because he is a public official with a great deal of power. I can't believe such blatant bribery is going on in full view in our so-called democratic country.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  80. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack,

    Yes, it does, provided that you are willing to turn a blind eye to his lifestyle and ignore the fact that he's so far from an "average, ordinary" American as Sarah Palin is from a member of Mensa, or even a high school graduate who paid attention during school.

    Ordinary Americans, let's say those who make less than $50,000 per year, don't get their rent or mortgage paid by the taxpayers. Nor do they have corporate sponsors who give them hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, who buy them cars and boots and clothes and jewelry and pay for luxurious vacations and even their cable tv bills.

    But I think that there are plenty of Americans who will be perfectly happy to ignore these perqs Perry receives while they struggle at a minimum wage job or two (since those are the kinds of jobs Perry creates), living paycheck to paycheck and maybe with some help from the gov't because they like his lies and believe that he is the Saviour and speaks for God. God help us if Perry wins.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  81. Deb in MT

    So, it's not enough that Perry is a total flake; he has to be a complete fake, too! I'm just so stunned....not. Get set for 'Texas Flim-Flam, the Sequel.'

    September 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  82. Pete from Georgia

    I'm interested in his IDEOLOGY, his CONSERVATIVE stance on big government..............NOT his lifestyle.
    I couldn't care LESS about his lifestyle.
    The topic of 'lifestyle" will only be brought up and blown out of proportion by the media and the left to help divide American voters, to deceive them into measuring a candidate by anything but what is actually and truly important for the health of our economy and the future of our childrens lives.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  83. bonnie from NJ

    That's really sickening, I am hoping the people of Texas don't realize they are paying his rent and not that they are okay with it. Why doesn't the press call him out on this, I don't get it. Did you also know that he has passed a law in Texas that a gun permit is a legal id to vote, but not a student id. The really sickening part is even after all of this, poeple will vote for him because he uses the word God.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  84. Chris from NY

    Isn't that the Republican's M.O? Claim to be a down-home cowboy who can relate to the plight of ordinary Americans, when your pockets are being stuffed with money from the rich. Tell me who are inclined to protect? The guy who gave you money or one whom you don't know even exists? Go figure!

    September 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  85. Ryan

    Rick Perry seems like a "put together politician". Acting like a cowboy in Texas and beating the drums of the Tea Party on the national scene. As if he even plays the drums, but my guess is that he would learn to play drums if thats what would get him elected. Plastic man Perry has not one bit of consistentsy in politics and he ain't no cowboy either, but a drummer boy seems more of his style.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  86. Julie from Illinois

    Hi Jack, Perry's image matches his lifestyle exactly – everything is paid for by his donors, even his rent. Where is this guys personal responsibility – oh that's right he has a job so he doesn't have to worry about being personally responsible. He looks like a shyster, acts like a shyster and he lives like a shyster. Wake up people!

    September 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  87. Jim

    It worked for Bush and he was around for 8 years.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  88. Jim

    Rick Elmer Ganttry Perry moves in rich circles because he can be bought. He is right out of "There Can be Blood" with a "Rain Man's" skill for selling snake oil, and oddly looks the part. If he stumbles on a the political stage he can make it big in Hollywood where character actor roles are made to order for him. He is back woods big time.
    Jim
    Los Angeles

    September 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  89. Gary H. Boyd

    We've got a situation here in Arizona similiar to what's going on in Texas - politicians accepting tickets, trips and stuff and we're in the process of throwing the bums out. A four year rennovation of the Texas Governor's mansion is simply absurd and accepting gifts, trips and money stinks. I wouldn't vote for somebody like that if he were the only one in the race.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  90. JohnOBX

    Give him a pair of pom-pom's, then his image will match his lifestyle. No more ex-cheerleaders from Texas for president.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  91. Bob Kansas City, Mo.

    Perry is as phony as a three dollar bill....never been to Texas btw but being close to his age makes me think he won't do nothing for the majority of the country if elected. W was more likable than this guy.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  92. Ralph Nelson

    I sure appreciate this information. He's a Republican. What do you expect? 2.2 GPA? "D" in college Economics? Makes you long for George W. Bush. Can't this nation do better than this?

    September 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  93. TOM

    RP will win and win big! Enjoy!

    September 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  94. Bethany in Dublin, Ohio

    If that good old boy can be bought at the state level, he can be bought at the federal level. These "luxury" politicians have nothing in common with the every-day person. That is why this country is being ran by special interests and corporations.We need a whole new federal government, one that works for the people elected them.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  95. Ron San Antonio

    Jack, his lavish lifestyle is exactly what I'd expect from a fake, a fraud, a swindler, snake oil salesman. The guy is bought and paid for by the biggest Big Businesses. He is so out of touch with the common man, he thinks everyone in Texas likes him and as one who spent most of his life in San Antonio, he's wrong. He is a Bush clone, even though that science evades his pea brain. What troubles me but also makes my point that the American People are gullible and don't pay attention to details, he has a large following. Hopefully not large enough. If he gets elected, the IQ of the entire country will drop 100 points!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  96. Richard

    Compared to Rick Perry, Obama is a saint.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  97. Ugh22

    If I remember correctly, it's taken 4 years to renovate the Governor's Mansion because someone torched it a couple years ago during the restoration, so there's much more to have been fixed besides simple "renovation". It was a beautiful, historic building that was partially destroyed. Google search would do Cafferty well.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  98. carey georgas

    For all but about five years of his adult life, the guy's been a government employee. He is a professional bureaucrat, and from what I've seen, the peevish petty type – the worst kind. I have voted against him every time he has ever run for any position on my ballot, and have not regretted a single vote. If you people thought Bush was bad, or even good, for that matter, then you ain't seen nuthin' yet if ol' Slick Rick gets in there. He is living proof that the Peter priniciple is not a theory – it's a fact.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  99. Larry, Boston, MA

    Perry is nothing like that which he portrays, nothing close to that which he speaks. Smaller, less intrusive government my foot. mandates teenage vaccinations, takes farm subsidies for his own cotton farm, asks for federal money to fight Texas fires, takes private properry by eminent domain and sells it to a foreign company. I call him an unrepentent hypocrite to his face but he's so full of himself he wouldn't have a clue what I was talking about.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  100. Ken in NC

    He's just another "Die Hard Slick Willie" bought and paid for by "High Dollar Texas Politics". His Cowboy show is as phony as his Gov. Pretend show. He is almost as phony as Sarah Palin.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  101. Yoman

    I am sure Perry will be the GOP nominee fr President. This guy can be bought and has no ethics= More money power from lobyyists /corporates/WallStreet crooks

    September 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  102. James

    (Denver) Perry is playing a part. He plays it well. To me, he appears to be an arrogant, pushy, unintelligent, shmarmy self-promoter. I wouldn't be surprised if there is womanizing in his closet and a sad wife at his side. It looks like he'll get the nomination, and, if he does, then our economy will continue to falter and a long depression awaits us whether he or Obama win. That is, of course, unless Americans Elect actually works to elect another candidate.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  103. Bob in Houston

    And now a CNN report was comparing Rick Perry's cowboy persona to that of Ronald Reagan. Perry is more like The Marlboro Man, and we all know what cigarettes do to you!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  104. Lucille

    After spending a fews weeks in Houston for work, I was firmly educated on how the people of Texas dislike Rick Perry. They tell me he can't take of Texas, so how does anyone think he can take care of the entrie US. He better put out the fires at home before he sets more elsewhere.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  105. Ben in Tennessee

    Ok folks it doesn't take long for the socialist to start something and plaster a person that could possibly stop the invasion upon this country. I am not a fan of Rick Perry but I see he has the nerve to stop the socialist from taken over. Every politician has their backers and hanger oners. Folks if we don't stand together then things like this blog will no longer be available for us. Rick Perry to me is a man with values and guts to get it done. God Bless America and all the young men and women that gave their lives for us to be free, lets don't dis=honor them.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  106. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, Rick Perry is a fraud. The image he maintains is designed to deceive ordinary Texas voters into believing that he understands and empathizes with their needs. In reality, he is bought and payed for by the wealthy, who see no wrong with this, as long as they are the ones buying and he is toeing their line. Bought and payed for, that's the Gee-nO-teaParty way.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  107. LarryMoniz

    Yessir, sounds like the best politician money can buy. That's even worse than terminal stupid in a candidate.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  108. Mark

    Jack. We needed you asking these questions about Obama in 2008. Let's face it anybody would be better in 2012 then the current guy. Go Rick or Mitt or even Sarah.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  109. Peter

    Hey Jack,
    Good question! Now lets place Obama's name in a similar question. "Is Obama smart enough to be President, or is he just a pretender"?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  110. Gordon

    What's exactly new here? Republicans and the ultra-rich scratching each others' back, while screwing the middle class? Didn't we know this all along? Ask the tea party – they might have perfect justification for this in their world!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  111. Jennifer in Houston

    Lavish lifestyle is the only consistent part of Rick Perry. His politics is whatever sells big and gets him elected. He doesn't even blush when he flip flops..

    September 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  112. Bryan

    You obviously didn't do a lot of research for this article. He's living in a rented house because some idiot burned down the Texas Governor's mansion. It took several years to collect PRIVATE money to assist in rebuilding the mansion.

    I've got news for you people. Every person that has the nerve to run for POTUS is going to be a hard-driving, Type-A personality. You don't find people like that in the pool of average Joe's that work 9 to 5 and spend the weekend drinking beer in front of their TV's. Seriously. These are ambitious, smart people. They make money. They live in big houses. If you want to be POTUS, get off your backside and go for it. In the meantime, stop whining.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  113. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    I spent fiftyseven years in texas during 2009 and 2010. Perry is business as usual.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  114. Larry L

    Republicans see what they "need" to see. For example, Perry is seen as a hard-core Bible-thumper yet he reported only $90 in contributions to his church over a two-year period. That's not thumping very hard... He's also lately been showing his support for the anti-gay community, yet historically he's had to dodge rumors much in the other direction. He threatened to secede from the Union but them complains about federal being too slow to put out the fires. He considers global climate change a liberal plot yet Texas is being devastated by drought and fire. Duh!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  115. Stefanie

    Someone please tell me why a man who is in favor of seceding from the union is now running to be president of that union? As a resident of Texas, if Perry gets elected, I'm going to change my mind and be in favor of secession.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  116. Roger in Dallas

    Jack, I pray that my fellow Americans will wake up and see this charlaton for what he really is. Do not let him anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or for that matter, to even take the tour! I'm from Texas and I'm proud of my state but even more proud of my country and my country does not need Rick Perry as President.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  117. Don in SF

    Perry? I just hope he ends up being the GOP candidate, because he's unelectable

    September 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  118. LA Belle

    As long as these Republicans living a lavish life-style (with their cowboy hats over their empty heads) continue to ignore the rest of the American people as if they don't exist, who cares about what they want. There are numerous ways to stop the down-fall of this country, yet not one of these candidates ever mentions them.

    How about Natural Gas resources in this country for all vehicles, allowing oil and gas companies to send production to China and other foreign countries to pay-off our debt. Stop the tsunami of American dollars to foreign countries. Stop the waste of lives and costs of two wars. Cut back on salaries to Congress members and remove retirement benefits until they show-up for work everyday and make some decent decisions for this country. Stop U.S. companies from operating offshore causing massive unemployment in this country and avoiding paying their fair share of taxes.

    If these candidates have not figured out what the real problems are with this country and all they keep talking about is cutting taxpayer funds, then they're the same kind of crooks that are already in Congress. This country does not need another one of those as president. It's just plain disgusting how these candidates think they deserve our votes.
    Ruby (Louisiana)

    September 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  119. Ralph Spyer

    Governor Rick Perry received large chunks from Enron, Ken Lay gave Mr Rick 25 thousand alone. All Governor Perry had to do along with Governor Bush before him is Dergulate state electric markets, grandfather all air polluters, and protect business from lawsutes. In Chicago we call this play for pay ,that way 7 of our last Governors have been sent to jail.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  120. Jane

    Does Barack Obama's lavish lifestyle match his "regular" guy image? Was this type of question asked during the 2008 campaign? How did Mrs. Obama get her cushy job at a Chicago hospital?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  121. Rob

    Most Texans would not vote for him. They might as well call him the real slick willie!

    Newt is the smartest person running. To bad I don't think he can get the nod.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  122. Jon from Tempe

    A politician that lives a lavish lifestyle that is different than his persona? Come on Jack, that never happens in America! Politicians are honest people, right? Live in reality Jack. All politicians put on a facade that is different than what they really are.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  123. Patsy, Texas

    I know I'm too late for this post, but just to set the record straight, we are paying TEN THOUSAND/month for his
    rent. Also, he actually asked the State Legislature to "seal" his travel records because he got caught
    charging Texas for stuff he should pay for himself while on these extravagant vacations. Guess what?
    They sealed his records. If he looks greasy and sleezy, he is.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  124. roscoe

    Is anyone surprised by this? Number one, he's a politician....so, strike one on being crooked. Number two, he's sleazy in his business and political dealings.....strike two. And, number three, he's from Texas.....strike 3.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  125. Wanda - Escondido, CA

    WHAT?! A politician who's campaign image doesn't match his actual circumstances? Say it isn't so!!!!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  126. Greg

    He is no more then King George the II

    September 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  127. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    Of course it does, Jack. Especially the cowboy boots. Shoot, he's one of them good ol' boys!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  128. Doug

    Doesnt matter if he is a Republican or a Democrat. The issues are never discussed, whether it be our fiat currency, increasing inflation, unsustainable wars or continuing boom-bust cycles. Neither Perry or Obama are fit to be president. We need true change, someone who will bring up the issues nobody wants to talk about. Sadly, he is almost completely ignored in main stream media.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  129. Nathaniel of Amherst, MA

    Sure, Perry is living life like a down-home, country boy... ... if you are counting the beverly hillbillies.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  130. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    ALL politicians accept gifts. It's not right but it is SOP. Why are you doing a hatchet job on Perry? Are you afraid he is going to threaten your buddy Hussein?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  131. Pavani

    If Rick Perry does not know how to or cannot live within his means, what is he going to do for the country? Especially because at this time that is exactly what we are all trying to do!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  132. Philip TN

    What's so lavish about cowboy boots and hotels. Sounds like a normal person. Think I will support him.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  133. bob in Florida

    Two things: 1) People ate up the image of former President GW Bush as a down home, good ol' boy who you could sit down and have a beer with. But he comes from an affluent family, was educated at Princeton, earned his letter as a cheerleader, and got special treatment with his military assignments. He's been "big money" all his life. But people bought the lie. Why would you think they'd be any less gullible with Perry than Bush? 2) A few have tried to suggest that the current administration "flip flopped" on promises made, but conveniently leave out the vitriolic "country be damned" behavior of a do-nothing Republican opposition party. They even had a GOP strategist come out and say that for the next four years their "strategy" was simply to block ANYTHING Obama or Pelosi brought to the table, and blame it on them. The GOP has excelled in the past decade at poisoning anything that doesn't match their ideology. The recent stupidity of holding the country financial hostage so they could quibble over ideological fine points is merely the latest example. Their goal, stated and implicit, is NOT to fix things, but to wreck them as much as possible w/o being caught, blame the opposition, and get back in power.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  134. Bob

    Let me see that other cowboy Bush and Perry are pretty much alike. No Unions, no medicare, no taxes on rich, n0 social security, keep loop holes for rich and no regulation of big businesses such as Enron, Aig Goldman Sachs Leman Bros, Banks, Wall Street – gee they sound familiar. Oh yea put your retirement into the stock – now there is a sound investment.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  135. Montana Girl

    You cannot be a "real" person and get elected. "real" people don't have the money to buy the votes from pockets of the rich. The people running now a days have plenty of money, whether it is theirs or whether it came to line their pockets from the pockets of those that will want the favors in the future. Real people can't win, I think it's just that simple

    September 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  136. Melissa

    He's a Republican, which means he's a natural hypocrite and liar. Whatever he says goes directly against what he does.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  137. David Saintsing

    Tell you what Jack...get Wolf to ask that same question tonite and i will send you and Wolf a pair of ciwboy boots

    September 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  138. Tom in Iowa

    So, what you are saying is, Governor Perry's supporters are bribing him to get what they want by "legally" paying for all of these "perks".
    Thank you Mr. Bush for appointing a Supreme Court that would vote to allow this legalized bribing.

    Tom in Iowa

    September 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  139. Gail, Plano TX.

    We've had his number for years here in TX. He's about as much aw shucks, as you are, Jack. He robs from the poor to give to the rich. He's shrewd and has no
    mercy. 234 people executed under his watch? I don't know how he sleeps at nite!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  140. Clark

    Rick Perry – a wolf in sheep's clothing. Beware of politicials who call themselves good Christians and don't tell the truth.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  141. JAMES C FAWCETT, Texas City, TX

    As someone who has followed pistol packing Perry throughout his career, I can tell you quite honestly that this buffoon is a card carrying, full-blown fraudster. He actually makes 'W' look good, well, almost. And remember, the governor of Texas has much less power and authority than most governors except when it comes to gifts. Want a job on a commission, send Rick on an exotic location. Want to drill for oil on state land, pay Rick's rent. Want to be appointed to a high ranking state job, let Rick use your corporate jet. And so it goes. Of course one only has to remember that the gullible people of Texas voted Geo Bush into office twice as well as Ricky. Having lived here for 15 and originally from California, I would venture the collective IQ of this state is only slightly above a carrot.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  142. AB

    Asolutely not!! Rick Perry is playing a shell game with the American electorate. This guy is sneaky and dishonest. He cares notthing about ordinary working Americans. His main agenda is to protect the wealthy–He is one of them!!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  143. Rose

    No, if he were truly a "country boy" he wouldn't have suspended the river water rights we used to water our livestock and pecan trees. Strangest thing, Perry's developer supporters continue to pump water from the waterways as usual, while agriculture people have to drill wells, sell livestock, and deal with it. I pray Perry gets what he deserves. Rose of London

    September 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  144. brandon h

    No this guy is a fake! I'm from Texas and this guy is two faced, people would be foolish to vote for this man!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  145. Jay from Pflugerville, TX

    While they may say the gifts are all on the up-and-up, look at the actual cost to Texas taxpayers; when King Perry travels, he has many people that travel with him including assistants, press staff, security detail, etc. Add up all of their expenses and then look at who is REALLY footing the bill–Texas taxpayers. I'm appalled he is my governor. He does NOT represent me nor does he represent the views of my traditionally Republican family.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  146. Kevin

    Is this guy serious? First he says Bernanke is treasonous, and now this. What will it take for America to garner some rationality and stop giving attention to people like this?

    Kevin, GA

    September 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  147. Bob in LA

    Have any of you seen Andy Griffith in "A Face in the Crowd"? Rick Perry is that con-artist politician. Hopefully he will be exposed in time, just as Griffith's character was.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  148. Wayne

    No. Rick Perry is a joke. A fraud. He is a mix of Sarah Palin and George Bush. The great thing is that he can't beat Obama.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  149. Hal McCabe

    He's just another version of "The Flim Flam Man".

    September 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  150. William McPherson

    A wolf in sheep's clothing – a crook in cowboy boots, where have we seen this before

    September 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  151. Sean

    Wow. Another phony cowboy stuffed deep in the pockets of super wealth special interest. There's no way that can go wrong again.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  152. Cec Fry

    Just another Bush in sheep's clothing. The rich being supported by the taxpayers is nothing new in the state where everything is bigger and more insulting. God help America that Texas Voters don't decide the presidency

    Cec Fry
    Montana

    September 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  153. Nancy

    Exactly what I would expect from a "Good Ole Boy" from the BIG state of Texas......JOBS anyone?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  154. Ted T.

    Absolute power corrupts.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  155. Miguel J New York

    Perry wants government benefits that only apply to him and wants to wipe out benefits that apply to others. Perry "You Mad Bro". He is definitely a "Hater" on the Union of the United states, social security, Government benefits and especially Obama. Cmon "Son" Perry....

    September 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  156. Tod

    No, No, No! This guy is as fake as his cheesy smile. People are so gullible. I can look at this guy and see that I could never call him a friend because he appears to be only friends with those that pay for his lifestyle. So fake it's pathetic. Typical career politician. Based on this new info, he will do the bidding for the highest bidder and that's a fact.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  157. Bonnie

    Country in "dept" let's put those "good ole boys" on notice, you give me the budget and they'd be ridding horses to work.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  158. Green Texian

    Rick Perry is more of the typical career politician.
    Texas leads America in wind generated power, but the majority of the turbine parts are not built in Texas or even America?
    Texas leads America in Biodiesel production yet Perry is in thw pocket of oil company execs, putting us at the mercy of foreign despotic regimes.
    The Tea party cries about "sanctuary citizens" and advocates AZ type laws, but Texas is basically a Sanctuary state where illegal immigrants were granted drivers licenses for years!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  159. Will San Francisco

    This is the main problem with our entire government. The perks they receive from the wealthy becomes the main motivation in how they vote. The incentive to vote according to their constituants goes by the wayside. Of course it's legal, they are the lawmakers.

    Will San Francisco

    September 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  160. Daniel M. from Arkansas

    If Govenor Perry has recieved gifts that were legal
    and reported them as he was supposed to, then
    what has he done that was wrong. I think pretty
    much everyone excepts gifts.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  161. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    So, the real question is; Why isn't Gov. Rick Perry in jail for taking gifts from contributers, kick backs and pay for play? Good thing he isn't Governor of Illinois. The last two Governors of that state wound up behind bars for this sort of thing.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  162. Shelley M.

    Why does everyone think the polite, easy-going attitude is an aw-shucks, country bumpkin personality? Down in the South we have people who have money and do well and still are kind enough to care about other people–I know that's different than the bitter people in the newsroom. Perry is a leader in one of the greatest states in the country–I want our Governor to have a nice place to entertain, have meetings, and project an image in the same way I want our President's residence to be a beacon for the American life.

    Obama is rolling out $400 bottles of wine and has a host of beneficiaries with access. Why does this only come up when there's a hint of it in the Republican's house? The Dallas Morning News has been trying to hunt and pin this type of stuff for years and it's been a big fishing trip. Obama has slid by the press with far less.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  163. Nick

    Absolutely not. I'm sorry, but when your boots cost twice as much the average voters' unemployment check, you aren't in touch with Americans in 2011. But, this is just politics as usual. The "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" is how bribery... I mean "politics" is done. I definitely need to get some "donors" of my own. But, I don't have any votes, contracts, or political power to sell. At least I can sleep at night secure in the fact that I'm an honest and decent human being.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  164. Jackie in Kyle, Texas

    Rick Perry is no simpleton. He is ambitious, manipulative, and self-serving in all of his political dealings. He lives a lavish lifestyle on the backs of the Texas public. He enjoys far too much power because the Texas Legislature eats out of his hand. When hundreds of thousands of Texas teachers lost their jobs when Perry refused to utilize Texas' Rainy Day Fund, he remarked, "I didn't fire anyone."

    September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  165. MICHAEL NORRIS

    Well country boys can be crooks to. He talks a good talk but he is a crook like many other politician. When are we going elect a president that won't bow down to any big donor. If he walk like a crook, looks like a crook and talk like a crook; what else could he be?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  166. Lenny

    Well Jack... last week you were talking about paying kids to go to school. Isn't it only fair we pay politicians to do their jobs we've elected them to do?? Rick Perry is no different than any other politician. That's the whole point of running for office. So YOUR kids don't have to worry about things like school lunches or health insurance. So YOUR wife can live the life you'd like her to. So YOUR retirement is secure and YOUR cronie friends can stuff their pockets! Really Jack? Are your questions rhetorical??? Love your stuff!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  167. William

    I am glad you brought this up. I always figured he lived a "Texas size" lifestyle. I certainly see him as an elitist. Have you seen the dash-cam video of him when his driver was stopped for speeding. It sure seemed like he was trying to use his position to get out of going 20 miles over the limit. Mitt Romney has a pretty lavish lifestyle as well, but he likes to mention he is a business man so I guess he feels he should live a lifestyle that matches it. Dr. Paul seems the most modest and consistent of the top-tier.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  168. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I am Not a particular boob tube or movie show nut, but all this guy wants is the lead role in "Suburban Cowboy!"

    September 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  169. Kevin Irvin

    Not even close . His $120,000.00 per yr. mansion rental on the lake takes him out of the country boy category real quick.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  170. Sandra

    Rick Perry is George W Bush on steroids! I can't believe the republicans are going to fall for this all over again.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  171. Ron Giles

    No not at all. He will just be another wealthy politician looking after the wealthy and corporate world. But what do you expect from a State that raises the speed limit to 85mph on some of the Interstates when we are in an oil crisis? I can remember during one oil crisis when the Federal Government mandated 55 MPH on all Interstates in order to conserve oil. This Texas governor and State are not serious about the Oil Crisis we are in.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  172. Andrea M

    Unless the person is riding a horse, I generally treat anybody in cowboy boots as a fraud. They're a good sign that somebody is pretending to live a life in dreamland well separated from their truth, whatever that truth may be.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  173. Patrick from Sylmar,CA

    He's as real as a $3 bill. He, like all of the 'frontrunners' come from privilage. Those are the exact people I don't trust.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  174. Linda in Arizona

    He's as phony as Reagan. Ask the Koch brothers if he's their home boy.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  175. R. Steel

    As long as you get what you paid for, and Im sure most of (Friends) Ricks votes got just what ,who we kidding If you liked Bush your love this one!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  176. Hal McCabe

    As has been said before, "He's a politician, which means that when he's not out there kissing babies, he's stealing their candy."

    September 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  177. Daniel

    Dear Jack,
    As always, you hit the nail on the head. As a U.S.Marine who is sick to death with politicians, if Ron Paul doesn't get elected, I'm moving to Canada.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  178. Sharon from Fredericksburg, TX

    I was born in Texas so that makes me a real Texan even though I have spent some 35 of my 60 years out of the state. After returning to Texas five years ago , nothing is more embarrassing than the politics. It is totally run by special interests that line Perry's pockets and receive places on key commissions and special treatment for oil and gas corporations. The state is filled with hostil, ignorant, bigoted, paranoid individuals in rural areas – urban centers are better. See Texans against Rick Perry.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  179. Kevin Irvin

    Not even close . His $120,000.00 per yr. mansion rental on the lake takes him out of the country boy category real quick. Austin ,TX

    September 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  180. Renee Peoria,Ill

    No, but it perfectly matches the image of a politician accustomed to talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  181. Mark

    It sounds to me that Rick Perry is just another "Bought and Paid For Politician" Jack.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  182. David

    Jack, it's funny how these Midwestern idiots think they are the only true Americans, and everyone else living on the outer edges are unpatriotic second class citizens. Its pathetic that these candidates have to put on this shows for idiots that fall for this Americana image.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  183. Bob Oorbeck

    Good old boy? Just another George Bush. Let's go to war and destroy the economy!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  184. Patty - Illinois

    Perry does make "W" look good. The more layers are peeled of this onion, the more rotten the core gets. Phony balony ...... heand Palin are two of a kind.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  185. Helen Nelson-Hougland

    Of course Perry's lifestyle doesn't match his political show-biz image. My very smart dad educated me many, many years ago that outrageous people in show business are presenting an "act", their act does not necessarily reflect who they really are and actually seldom reflects who they really are. The same for politicians. In our nutty society the politicians present a carefully crafted image that gives their constituents what they want to see. Since Truman we haven't had much in the way of honest, good government focused politicians. Sad.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  186. Darren Burke

    How refreshing. Another down home, hard working, just like us kind of guy from Texas!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  187. betty from massachusetts

    jack compared to the present president he looks fine and dandy to me. i'd vote for you before obama come on rick

    September 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  188. Rich

    Im sure america is used to it by now, Michelle obama has here lavish vacation life style, vacationing with her husband and all the corporate jet owners on the vineyard. using two jets instead of one at our expense, and we won't even mention the golf outings, americans do as I say not as I do.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  189. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Rick Perry is just epitomizing the classic Republican appearance of being 'for the people' while in reality being solely for the 9% of Americans who are rich and better off. Perhaps the Democrats can use that to their advantage if Perry should emerge as the Republican nominee in 2012. Plus, the Hispanic population will not back a guy who at one time suggested a 'Great Wall' along the US-Mexico border.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  190. Rosemarie

    Jack you forgot that Perry has the backing from the Koch Brothers. He has been meeting with them so you don't think he gets money to win the presidency?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  191. Linda walker

    I live in Texas. Rick Perry is a snake.He has become a millionaire from the lobbist and special interest groups.He tries to act like he is just another "GOOD GUY from Texas" He lies about his Great Accomplishments for the people living here in Texas.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  192. M. Hall

    I'll excuse Perry for his lavish lifestyle just as I did President Obama's choice of minister for 20 years in Chicago. Heck, If the Texas Governor can deliver on jobs unlike our current Whitehouse incumbent, I'll even support his use of a government funded 747 called Air Force One.
    How's that for voter outrage Jack?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  193. R. Steel

    NO income tax,No home owner tax just a fed sales tax, if you live like Richie rich you pay like Richie Rich or like a Rick Perry.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  194. Martin W. Soran

    Hi Jack, now you see why Ricky knows how Ponsi schemes work, he has been bilking the rich & tax payers all his political life, enough said!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  195. Tom - Hoffman Estates, IL

    Just like the republicans who stayed seated during the President's address acting like "spoiled brat children" who may have their money train from lobbyists and corporate America taken from them, ...Rick Perry is NO DIFFERENT!!

    Sure..., that's what America needs.

    Another morally corrupt Texan who would only maintain one mindset: "That's right y'all, ..., I'm gettin' richer... you're poor..., and I'm the decider!"

    Gimme a break!

    He..., Palin..., and Bachman should start a sitcom... FAR OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  196. Pacheco

    No, his is part of the wate stream we have in our government today, we need a leader that can lead this great nation by example.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  197. Dawn Mayo

    About as much as Obama calling us Folks and trying to make us believe he knows what is it like to be poor and unemployed, when it comes right down to it America votes for the lesser of two evils. God help us this time...... Send us something else.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  198. Matt

    Big money is the only thing that has kept Rick Perry in office this long. His financial conflicts of interest are well known and documented. To think that he is genuine beyond a dollar is mistaken. He is a stereotypical Texas politician, but nothing like most Texas citizens. He is not popular here because too many know a fake when they see it.

    Matt
    Austin TX

    September 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  199. Juanita

    This somehow does not surprise me, all politicians do this, I am for Ron Paul, my first campaign contribution ever, and I am only a RN from Nebraska. Ron Paul gets his contributions from the people $20.12 at time, guess whose interests Ron Paul is going to work for, his campaign contributors.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  200. mike form laveta Co.

    Jack, its a travesty(american politics) the divide between the classes grows by the day, leading to synicisim & discontent. The wealthy entiled politicians in Washington are scamming the american people on many fronts. This is just the latest example. Cudos for exposing these outlandish capers. Hope my contractor doesn't rake me over the coals like the people of Texas.......

    September 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  201. Sandra from Texas

    It's a perfect match for Texas politics. He's bought and paid for by the wealthy. Everyone seems to be comparing him to other politicians and their expensive vacations and lifestyle. I don't care about politicians wealth or how they spend it as long as it's money they earned and not "gifts" for favors. Perry is notorious for granting favors and positions for cash.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  202. Margaret

    Persons living in other states don't realize that the Texas legislature meets for 6 months every two years. The rest of the time the State Department heads run their departments and the Governor is free to do whatever he wishes. So, for 10 years in office Perry has had two and one half years of governorship experience.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  203. Lynn

    F.Y.I. The four years of repairs that are ongoing at the Texas Governor's Mansion were necessary after the mansion was almost completely destroyed by a fire set by an arsonsist. I don't know anything about the other examples you used to describe Rick Perry's "lavish lifestyle", but clearly your insinuation that the repaiirs on the mansion are an example of this are off base.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  204. Johnny B. Good

    Well thats a "BIG OLE TEXAS PONZI SCHEME"! Milk the poor ole texans out all there hard earn tax payers money to help make, MR. RICK PERRY'S life more richer, that's BUSH UNIQUE!!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  205. Mike

    This man is a career public servant AND a MILLIONAIRE. (hint: He didn't get there by selling books)

    September 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  206. Doug

    What I love about Perry is the Left, yes even you Jack, get their panties in a wad and say with a straight face that they want Perry to win the Republican nomination. Perry is Obama's worst nightmare. He will lose in a LANDSLIDE of epic proportions against Perry. It will be a beautiful sight to see. Obama is a tremendous FAILURE!!!!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  207. Otto from Austin

    As is so often repeated around these parts, "Rick Perry is all hat and no cattle!" The term "phony" doesn't even begin to describe Perry. In no way is he "a man of the people". A good example occurred 2 days ago, when his office announced he would be making an appearance at one of the nearby fire-ravaged communities, to address the press and the local folk. He never showed up, leaving reporters and those whose lives have been ravaged by wildfire hanging. Texas firefighters even have to pay for their own fuel and equipment, under our "fine governor". Perry is bought and paid for, by the Koch brothers, Leininger, and countless other billionaires and millionaires, to do their bidding. If, God forbid, he should be elected President, heaven help us all, because Plutocracy shall prevail!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  208. Cee.La

    gov.Goodhair......has a good gig going....he appeals to the those who are looking for a John Wayne style cowboy wearing a white hat, $500 ostrich or alligator boots,riding his trusty steed, guns a blazing, into the American heartland to save the day.......Give me a break......Rick Perry is anything but an awshucks, simple man, he is a shrewd politician........and everyone better believe it.........

    September 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  209. Kay

    Wealthy people cavort with their like, and receive gifts and certain perks from being successful. And last time I checked, it is the American dream to be successful, so who cares! If you think this article is going to dissuade voters that are hurting in this Obama economy, maybe you should rethink your strategy. Were you dissing JFK when the White House was turned into Camelot? Probably not. People do not care about his $500 boots, it's about jump starting an Obama economy so the average unemployed American can buy their own $500 boots if they so choose! Perry defeats O in the 2012 election and shows off these $500 boots to boot! Ha!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  210. Carlsbad

    Hello Jack

    all of those free trips to sports events and high dollar resorts around the world, that's brown nosing that the good old boy system for career politicians, I will scratch your back friend and I will scratch yours with support and votes. If you run interference for me. He should fit in quite nicely in Washington DC.

    New Mexico

    September 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  211. billy davis

    The average Texan would spend 5 years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread while this clown is allowed to steal millions.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  212. Lucas Wittman

    The real issue here is what Perry plans to do for the 99% of Americans who can't afford his type of luxury. His positions on deregulation and social programs speak much louder than his seven bathrooms, and what they are saying is, "to hell with the poor." His image as a champion of the people is a facade.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  213. Kent - Iowa City, Iowa

    Slick Rick Perry is a man of the people. Can he help it if his people are just the top 1% of the country?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  214. Hugh W

    No! Perry would be a better replacement for Gaddhafi than Obama.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  215. Geronimo

    Rick Perry reminds me of some of the leaders in the Third Reich. Let's hope that American voters see through this character, and not blindly follow him.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  216. Floyd - Broxton, GA

    He is a Republican Tea Party darling. "I have no idea what to do but I will sensationalize a non-important idea and stir up the masses so they will not look to me for any concrete working ideas because I really do not have any." Sounds like the typical Texas Bush protege. Let me weaken the whole country just so my friends can reap large amounts of financial gain. Why would these people tout no tax increase for the government to meet its debt. I am sure that if they are in business they would not cut prices of goods and then decide to renovate their business or expand their line of goods and hope to stay in business. They believe in doin g this and then going to war. Oh yeah, the money has to come from somewhere so the government sells T-bills and bonds, guess who buys them up – it is not the working class of people. I also worry about having leaders that play on the religion card and then lie and cheat and burden the poor, very anti Christian belief all the way around.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  217. Lee

    Not sure about all the above claims about Governor Perry.

    As for the governor's mansion it was fire bombed in the middle of the night by an unidentified arsonist. The governor and his family were not in residence at the time but the building was almost a total loss. Because it is an important historic landmark, renovation work has been controversial and slow. Govenors come, and in this case, eventually go.
    But we Texans love and care about our landmarks.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  218. Jack Wood

    The rest of the story is that his family in west Texas did not have running water til he was 6 years old and his mother hand made his clothes. He was the first in his family to attend college with a degree in animal science. Does not sound like he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth like many politicians. He was and Air Force pilot who considered a career as a commercial pilot. He came from humble beginnings and became successful withg hard work.

    Now....continue bashing him my liberal comrads. Obama is a proven failure with his marxist agenda.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  219. Becker

    What do you think Obama is living on crackers and peanuts. He spends $50K on a vacation and his wife spends like she is a Russian Oligarchs spouse. No doubt Perry spends too much but don't they all. By the way the boots are more like $1500 to $2000/pair. I know as a Republican I am not signing a vow of poverty and I don't expect Perry or Obama to do it either. I pay up for a awesome private schools with my same views for my chilldren as does Obama. If most people had the option they would do the same.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  220. aubrie

    I think the hype surrounding this bozo is inaccurate.... I live in Texas and I know VERY few people that like him... I'm republican, and I don't like him.... He doesn't represent me or most of the Repulicans in Texas with some of his recent antics...

    September 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  221. osmond chambers

    Mr. Perry,I live in El Paso,Texas. Our local newspaper , the Times, says you sir are a liar. We have never had any explosions in El Paso.You had more murders in Austin,Texas than we did in El Paso. Your intel must be faulty or you sir are pathological liar. Do you even know where El Paso is since you believe that we are so dangerous, what is dangerous is phony politicians like you and all the mean spirited republican tea party bunch that you belong to. You have more crime in the city where you live than we have here. How's that $10,000 a month house working for you.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  222. Paul in Dallas

    Rick Perry will say and do anything to garner votes and support. How else can he go from working on Al Gore's presidential campaign to sleeping with the far right.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  223. David D.

    I care less for his lifestyle than his policy beliefs and Perry's will drive us deeper into the same socioeconomic pit that the last ultra conservative candidate steered us into.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  224. Ann from Houston

    Our governor is no "down home" boy! He is pro-insurance and corporations and not for the citizens of this state!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  225. Robert Sloan

    Ponzi scheme? Probably, but it has worked thus far. My parents paid into the Social Security Fund (SSF) and "their" parents benefitted. I paid into the SSF and my parents benefitted. My children are now paying into the SSF and I am benefitting – what's wrong with that?? What is wrong is that the government raided the SSF to pay for "bombs & bullets" in the 1960's (which continues) and hasn't repayed a dime. Place the SSF monies in private hands and watch it grow!

    September 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  226. j

    do you think he is the only one out there that does this. come on. what about that green energy company that just got all that stimulus money, half a billion and now its bankrupt. you don't that that was a you give me i give you deal. wake up jack.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  227. Not a Jack fan anymore!

    Did you ever ask how Obama paid for his lifestyle?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  228. lynnej in nc

    Never did. He's nothing more than Bush with expensive tastes. He wouldn't know what to think if he had to go to work clean and come home dirty for $7.25 per hour with no benefits. I'm kind of believing that guy that is writing a book about him. He will make us miss George W. Bush if he gets elected.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  229. Kate Fuller

    The Governor's Mansion was burned down by an arsonist-so he really does have an excuse for living away. I believe there was a delay in repairing the mansion due to the arson investigation. That said, Perry is all plastic and I cannot find one good thing to say about him. Well, nice hair. There's one. Kate from Austin Texas

    September 12, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  230. Lynne

    Even though the reason the Perrys had to move into $10,000+ digs funded by the Texas taxpayers because a fire nearly burned the Governor's Mansion down, I agree that 4 years is a long time to rebuild it. I'm sure Perry gave the contract to one of his cronies who is milking it for all it's worth.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  231. Rick from Austin

    Are y'all *really* suprised by this? You shouldn't be. Perry's a career actor/politician who enjoys the spoils that go along with the position. If you're shocked by this you're enormously gullible and you should really do a bit of research before you cast your vote for any candidate – from either party....

    September 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  232. Barbara in NH

    Jack,
    No, the act he puts on belies the life he has lived on the government and crony dime. He hopes the masses will believe that he's just a good ol' country boy looking out for all the little folk, when in actuality he's nothing more than a big ol' CON -try boy hoping to pull off the biggest con of his life... running for President.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  233. dixick

    So what? This is news? Give me a break. I like the guy.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  234. Libertarian James

    How can Perry attack government spending that helps the most vulnerable Americas and invests in our future when he lives in luxury and does so much on the government tit? And how can Republicans elect such a hypocrite?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  235. Douglas Webb

    Rick Perry is another "shoot from the hip", blowhard, Texas governor. We have had enough of these in The White House for this century.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  236. Texas Tim

    Simple, he's all hat and no cattle. Cowpies for sure, but no cattle.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  237. Old2Sunny of Kentucky

    rick perry just another "good ole boy" with a toupe

    September 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  238. Larry from Illinois

    Sounds like he will fit right in if he winns.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  239. twgloege

    The true face of American Capitalism. No wonder he's smiling.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  240. Karen Smith

    Perry is hated by many Texans because he has ruined the public education system. The jobs he has created are grass mowing. He talks about state rights but he does not believe in women's rights. He tried to force all 12 year old girls to get a vaccination for sexually transmitted diseases and now the state is trying to require women to get sonograms before getting an abortion. He and the legislature have cut volunteer firefighters budget by 75% while the state burns. The state is holding on to money collected in citizens electric bills that was to help the disabled and elderly pay their electric bills in our 100+ degree weather.That's how Perry and the legislature balanced the budget in Texas.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  241. Doug

    Having spent 10 years in Texas with "Governor Goon", I hope and pray to God that the good citizens of this country realize what a buffoon and hack "Rick the Slick" Perry is. Oh – but he DID manage to shoot a coyote while he was jogging. And all because he could see the "evil intent" of the coyote.....................ugh....................

    September 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  242. Fred

    Think that he is out of touch with the rest of the population ? Mitt Romney flies everywhere with his private Jet , has a mansion in NH , has horses in CA , flies them to Europe to compete, and has a place in CA . These guys have noi dea of the middle class struggles

    September 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  243. IraqAfghn.VET&4xMom

    Since Gov. Perry became governor of Texas Jan 2001, unemployment has incresease by an average of 58,000 a year.
    Jan 2001 unemployment 442,929 and Jul 2011 unemployment was 1,023,172...And he is the front runner. I guess the people that is for Gov. Perry does not understand his high negative unemployment record. They believe what he told them, I hireed more people in TX than most/all of the other states together. Since he became Governor of TX, Texas unemployment has increased by more than 50%. He thinks this is a good thing.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  244. Roy Poucher

    To this non-Texan good ole country boys from Texas are likely just con artists selling their souls to the the highest bidder. Rick Perry's very slick at this.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  245. Paul from Durham NC

    Weren't the two recent presidents from Texas more than enough?

    September 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  246. Walter Johnson

    National Republican politicians are generally just front men for people with $100 million or more in assets Money has so corrupted politics at the national level that in reality the form of government we have is a plutocracy not a democracy. What I want to know about Perry's gift trips and such is whether or not he paid income taxes on them as required by federal law.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  247. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    I see Rick Perry as The Dukes of Hazzard meets the Beverly Hillbillies. Would you vote for Jethro? Golly Ms. Elly I do beleive even you could collect from that Ponzi scheme.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  248. Ron-Texas

    A lot of people in Texas will probably vote for Perry just to get him out of the state.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:59 pm |