Rick Perry confronts Politico’s Mike Allen in person over the publication’s report that unnamed members of his senior staff are blaming the way the campaign was handled for what has resulted thus far.
Tag Archive for Rick Perry
Rick Perry, Pensioner. That’s the title of a Wall Street Journal article by Nathan Koppel discussing the fact that the Texas Governor has opted to start collecting on a state employee retirement annuity despite still holding the job of Governor, a fact which his opponents have already seized upon after the Perry campaign disclosed the information in Mr. Perry’s latest filing with federal election regulators.
Texas Democratic Party spokesman Anthony Gutierrez called the benefit “unconscionable” when state budget cuts have cost thousands of teachers their jobs. “If Perry wants retirement benefits,” Mr. Gutierrez said, “he should do us all a favor and actually retire.”
Further detail on why exactly this is a juicy topic for Perrys opponents:
Rick Perry has done something his opponents have been hoping he’d do for years: retire. But it’s not what the governor’s detractors had in mind.
Perry officially retired in January so he could start collecting his lucrative pension benefits early, but he still gets to collect his salary — and has in turn dramatically boosted his take-home pay.
Perry makes a $150,000 annual gross salary as Texas governor. Now, thanks to his early retirement, Perry, 61, gets a monthly retirement annuity of $7,698 before taxes, or $6,588 net. That raises his gross annual salary to more than $240,000.
Perry was asked about this from a reporter and gave the following response:
The LA Times also notes that Perry has a student loan:
Perry has proposed slashing congressional salaries and has repeatedly called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.”
In an interview with ABC News, Perry defended drawing early on his pension: “I think it’d be rather foolish to not access what you’ve earned.”
“That’s been in place for decades and I bought my military time and then obviously the 25 years of public service time, so as you reach that age you become eligible for it, so I don’t find that to be, you know, out of the ordinary,” he said.
Also in his disclosure report, Perry listed assets, including some land, a life insurance policy and investment funds, worth between $1.16 million and $2.4 million.
His only liability is a 2006 student loan for between $100,000 and $250,000 with an interest rate of 3.875%. A second student loan with a higher interest rate – 8.25% — was paid in full earlier this year.
Sullivan said the loan was used to send Perry’s son Griffin to Vanderbilt.
Until August, Perry held a number of stocks and municipal bonds in a blind trust. Perry liquidated the trust when he declared his candidacy for president because it did not qualify as a federal blind trust.
The holdings “have been largely liquidated into cash or cash equivalents,” Sullivan said.
The conservative blog Hot Air writes:
He “retired” back in January, months before he decided to run for president. Had he known he was going to jump in and take withering fire from Romney on his entitlements rhetoric, I assume he’d have waited to start collecting. But it is what it is, and it’ll be thrown in his face every time the subject of Medicare or Social Security reform comes up. I don’t blame him for his logic: He paid in, he worked hard, he followed the rules, and now he wants his money. Problem is, that’s the same attitude seniors take towards federal entitlements, and if Perry beats Obama, he’ll suddenly be the guy tasked with convincing them to relax that attitude a bit in the name of our common fiscal good. How does he rally them to take one for the team and wait until, say, age 68 to enroll in Medicare if he couldn’t wait until finishing his term as governor to start taking his own pension? When I tweeted that a few hours ago, Perry fans jumped on me by answering that Democrats will smear him and attack the GOP viciously no matter what. Which is true, but how does that mitigate the potential damage here? An enemy armed with artillery is more dangerous than an enemy armed only with rifles, and this represents a bit of artillery for them insofar as they’ll use it to try to galvanize resentment against Perry’s supposed hypocrisy. Why do you think Gingrich couldn’t resist digging at Romney’s track record at Bain? Voters remember details to which they can relate personally, like pensions and layoffs. It’s not a liability that’ll sink Perry, but yeah, it’ll be used against him. Texas Democrats are already using it, in fact.
Bryan Preston wrote for Pajamas Media a piece titled Why Rick Perry Should Run For President, arguing:
Gov. Perry has been governor of the nation’s second largest state for 10 years, and was Lt Gov, Agriculture Commissioner and a legislator before that. Texas geography, population and economy make it larger than most countries, thus, experience at the helm of Texas is excellent preparation for the presidency. There is a negative in all that, that Perry can fairly be called a “career politician,” but he is one career politician who has a real record to tout and who has retained his deep skepticism of government as the source of all our answers. Texas under Perry’s watch has avoided the dire straits the other large states find themselves in, and it has consistently been the nation’s economic leader, creating more jobs and winning more accolades than any other state. Texas’ housing market has been the nation’s most stable during Perry’s watch, and Americans keep voting with their feet by making Texas the nation’s top interstate migration destination. Perry does not deserve all of the credit for this record, but he does deserve a good share of it, because during his tenure the often divided Texas government, in which 29 major offices are elected statewide, has functioned as a unified team with Perry in the lead. This team has kept Texas’ tax burden low despite hard times, and has kept Texas’ government among the smallest in the nation. Rick Perry is, as he is quick to mention, not George W. Bush. If he ran for president the comparison would be unavoidable, but Perry’s record is to the right of Bush’s. Perry is in many ways the man the liberals feared George W. Bush was, but Perry is a better stump speaker and has served in office at more levels than his predecessor.
Rush Limbaugh covered the prospect of a Perry candidacy on his radio show. Here is a partial transcript:
“Let me throw a name at you out there, and this person’s toying with getting in the race. And there are some Republicans who are trying to convince this person to get in the race, and there is a lot of excitement attached to the possibility that this person will get in the race. Well, who do you think I’m talking about? You have a look on your face in there as though you know who I’m talking about. Texas Governor Rick
Perry. Texas Governor Rick Perry is lurking out there, and he has the potential to light this up…
“Now, Rick Perry used to be soft on immigration, now he’s not. There’s no way you’re gonna hear Rick Perry supporting amnesty in any way, shape, manner, or form. He’s solid on that, plus pro-life. Rick Perry stands in opposition to inside the Beltway Washington elites, I don’t care what party they are. And he’s got great hair. Folks, we gotta put a picture of Rick Perry up on our website, if you haven’t seen him. It’s axiomatic, you are not going to be elected president unless you’ve got at least a ten inch part in your hair, preferably 14-inch. You can’t be bald. It’s the same thing with television anchors. You’re never going to be a prime network news anchor unless you have a 14-inch part in your hair. Well, in the television age there are just certain realities that you can’t get around.
“But, I’ll tell you, liberals are gonna react to any Republican that’s… don’t make me say this again. Look, I’m gonna get in enough trouble with these Republicans. Snerdley wants to know how the liberals are gonna react with another Texas governor. They’re gonna go nuts. So what? Let ‘em. When are they ever not nuts? Look, Rick Perry is a strong fiscal conservative. There are people in Texas that wanted a state income tax. He fought it. Rick Perry’s the guy that tracked these Democrats that left the state down. Remember they ran out, just like the Wisconsin Democrats did. No, I’m not endorsing anybody. I’m just telling you he’s lurking out there. It’s why I’ve always tried to caution people, it’s way too early here to start throwing in the towel or thinking all’s lost regarding the presidential field. There’s other people that might decide to get in this thing, too. You never know.”
Perry finds the endorsement “not so flattering” for some reason: