Former Texas Governor and two-time presidential candidate Rick Perry is being attacked by conservative media outlets for, of all things, keeping his word. Governor Perry, like every other 2016 GOP presidential candidate, gave his word that he would support the nominee of the party – no matter who that nominee turned out to be.
Unlike some of the other former candidates, Rick Perry is keeping his word and has pledged his support for the apparent nominee, Donald Trump. Texas’ longest serving governor is now being attacked for honoring his promise to the voters that he would support the eventual nominee of the party.
In September 2015, Gov. Perry was asked in a post-campaign interview if he would support Donald Trump by the Austin American-Statesman’s Jonathan Tilove. The Austin journalist reminded the governor he had previously referred to Trump as a “cancer on conservatism.” Perry’s answer, “Sure. Whoever comes out of that Republican field I’m going to be supporting.”
During a Fox News debate in August 2015, Bret Baier asked the GOP candidates, “Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of this Republican party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person?”
Of the ten candidates on stage, Donald Trump was the only person who said he could not make that pledge. He later signed the pledge and said he would support the eventual nominee, no matter who it was.
Now, outlets like Red State and National Review are attacking the governor for standing by his word. A May 5 Red State headline read “Pathetic: Rick Perry Supports Donald Trump and Open to Being His VP.”
The Red State piece goes on to say, “To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. All this does is lend credibility to those who say, ‘Oh most Republicans will come around. They’ll support Trump at some point.’” He completely leaves out that Perry, like every other Republican candidate, had promised to support the eventual nominee. He ends his article saying, in bold print, “Shame on you, Governor Perry.”
But Red State was not alone in their attack on a man who is honoring his promise.National Review’s published an article titled, “Perry and Other Republicans Sell Their Souls to Trump.”
In that piece, the National Review accused Perry of hypocrisy and “selling his political soul for a seat on the Trump Train.”
If you want to talk about hypocrisy, just imagine what these writers would be saying about Donald Trump had Ted Cruz secured the nomination at the convention and Trump either refused his support or ran as an independent candidate.
The National Review went further and attacked other former GOP presidential candidates who have pledged their support to the party’s apparently soon-to-be nominee. At the same time, he honored former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, for turning his back on his promise to support the nominee. The piece read, “the Republican aristocracy is for the most part bending its knee to the new king, proving that much of the ‘establishment’ is exactly as craven as Trump always claimed.’”
The article concluded with the assertion, “For conservatives, party unity is another way of saying ‘suicide pact.’ I will never vote for Hillary Clinton because she believes things I can never support. I will never vote for Donald Trump because he’s a bullying fool who believes in nothing but himself. The conservative movement can wait out a Clinton presidency intact.”
The next president will make at least one Supreme Court nomination, to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. It is likely that several more vacancies could occur during the next four years. The thought of passing that appointment on to Hillary Clinton should be enough for any conservative to say #NeverHillary.
Rick Perry, and other former candidates have stood by their word. That should be honored in this day in time where a candidate’s word is often meaningless.