The Corner

Perry: Cruz Backers ‘Don’t Know Anything About How Texas Works’

On Friday, Rick Perry vigorously made the case for David Dewhurst’s senate candidacy, doling out some harsh words for the groups that were backing Ted Cruz. From the Associated Press:


Asked if he might be jeopardizing his credibility with grass-roots groups, Perry lashed out at national tea party organizations and leaders who have supported Cruz, including the Washington-based Club For Growth and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint.

“There are a lot of out-of-state interest groups — whether it’s Club For Growth, whether its senators who have interest in being the next minority or majority leader in the United States Senate — there’s a whole lot of people who don’t intimately and expertly know how Texas operates that have come in and endorsed in this race,” Perry said. “I respect each one of those individuals, but they don’t know anything about how Texas works.”

“If they did,” he added, “they would be endorsing David Dewhurst.”

But while it’s true that Perry is currently an enthusiastic backer of Dewhurst, he and the lieutenant governor haven’t always seen eye to eye. In 2003, the two disagreed over how to solve Texas’s deficit, according to the Dallas Morning News:

A split between Republicans Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst widened Tuesday when a bipartisan group of senators said they oppose the governor’s reliance on spending cuts to balance the budget.

Mr. Perry says the state shouldn’t use its “rainy day” fund and one-time accounting moves to close an estimated $ 9.9 billion spending gap.

But Mr. Dewhurst said that to close the shortfall, senators should tap the fund, borrow some tobacco-settlement money the state socked away a few years ago and delay payments to schools and pension funds. . . .

On Monday, Mr. Perry rebuked Mr. Dewhurst for wanting to spend rainy-day fund money and use “accounting sleights of hand.”

“We need to deal with this budget and the restraints of limited resources now, not two years from now, not four years from now,” Mr. Perry told reporters after an appearance before the Texas Daily Newspaper Association.

As I wrote last week, some Texas political insiders who support Cruz are alleging that the Dewhurst campaign is suggesting that those who they feel should back Dewhurst (but aren’t) may face trouble in getting their desired legislation passed if Dewhurst remains lieutenant governor. Perry may be a supporter of Dewhurst because he likes his political policies. But it’s also possible he’s under pressure to support Dewhurst — or face problems in the future for his pet policies. 

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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