Rick Perry resigns: A career of contradictions, bigotry and ineptitude

Here's a look back to some of his most infamous statements

Share
Related Topics

Rick Perry, the gun-toting Bible-bashing Texan Governor, announced yesterday that he was to retire from office next year, and there are signs that this failed Presidential candidate is once again eyeing up a run for the White House.

Rick Perry is in the unenviable position of having been a less attractive candidate than such charming and inspiring politicians as Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and of course eventual loser Mitt Romney. But maybe this time Perry will prove that George W Bush is not the only Texan governor with a penchant for capital punishment who can make it on the national stage.

If you cast your mind back to the Republican primaries between 2011 – 2012, when a sort of rogue’s gallery of right wing ideologues prowled the political scene, it was Rick Perry who stood out – an impressive achievement considering the other candidates – as particularly inept, nasty and unintentionally hilarious. His mishaps ranged from forgetting which government department he was going to abolish if he became President, to releasing a video in which he strode through woodland wearing what suspiciously looked like Heath Ledger’s jacket from Brokeback Mountain, and then boldly pronouncing, ‘you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.’

For the very right wing Republican it is the awful spectre of the homosexual that causes such great fear and outrage. The idea that there are gay people in the military whilst children can’t apparently celebrate Christmas in school must be particularly terrifying. There are votes in being a bigot, or perhaps not, as Perry did end up losing in the primary race. It is no surprise that Perry was a supporter of Texas’ unconstitutional anti-sodomy law, which was only struck down in 2003.

Rick Perry is hugely pro-life and recently caused another controversy after criticising Texan state Senator Wendy Davis, who filibustered a bill that would have severely curtailed a woman’s right to abortion, for not learning from her own life. Perry claimed that as the daughter of a single mother and a teenage mother herself "It is just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."

The words ‘every life matters’ is something that most people would agree with. However, in other areas of political life Perry has behaved in ways that suggest he doesn’t really take that sentiment seriously. Perry has overseen over 250 executions and there is strong evidence that at least one of those executed, Todd Willingham, was innocent. Todd Willingham never got the chance to realise his full potential and it doesn’t seem that Perry is terribly concerned by that. When Perry was asked about whether he was bothered at all that innocent people may have been executed under him he responded that he “never struggled with that at all.”

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Syria's Kurds have little choice but to flee amid the desolution, ruins and danger they face

Patrick Cockburn
A bartender serves two Mojito cocktails  

For the twenty-somethings of today, growing up is hard to do

Simon Kelner
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones