Video: Perry Refuses to Explain Debt Record in Texas

Here is Rick Perry on the campaign trail recently, responding brusquely to an Iowa college student who asked him a well-researched question about his debt accumulation record in Texas.

(Interesting, isn’t it considering PA4Palin is the first to have brought this up, and Whitney wrote a follow-up and the Governor retweeted about this issue?) Word is getting out!

Notice how Perry pokes the student in the chest with his index finger and then gives him the complete brush-off telling him … “You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about, brother.”

The Economist political blog later shared this account of the exchange, mentioning the student first, then Palin and the PA4Palin charts at the end:

What did Mr Hjelm ask?

What I asked Governor Perry was “Considering state debt has nearly tripled and spending has increased by two thirds since you were governor, and also that ACORN considered your help their ‘proudest moment,’ what were the differences between him and the current liberal president?” As you can see, he immediately tried to excuse away the numbers.

This is a challenging line of questioning, but it was set forth politely, and I would have liked to have heard Mr Perry’s reply. Mr Perry had started to say “I don’t know where…” and then changed course. When Mr Hjelms talked over him to cite his source, replying to what he took to be the thrust of Mr. Perry’s abandoned first response, and when he continued to try to say where he got his numbers, Mr. Perry used the opportunity to act as though Mr. Hjelms was not actually interested in a response and moved on. “You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about, brother”, he added in valediction, which is somewhat ironic, as Mr. Hjelms was trying to explain how he knew what he was talking about.


Hjelm’s question and his follow-up blog post reveal an emerging line of attack on Mr Perry from the most fervently small-government precincts of the tea-party right: Mr Perry is a big-spending, lobbyist-loving, Al Gore-supporting ex-Democrat who is all pork and no tricorne.

Sarah Palin, who may yet enter the race, recently retweeted a blog post featuring these charts:

Meanwhile, I just happened upon this video of Gov. Sarah Palin taking five minutes to hear out the concerns of an Alaska native who asked her about improving employment in native villages … The contrasting “retail political” styles between Perry and Palin when confronted with an engaged and informed citizen is quite telling, don’t you think? In Perry’s case, the citizen gets a finger poke, in Palin’s case, he gets a hug!

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