Will other Republican candidates call Rick Perry out on his record?

Rick Perry has entered the race, and just one week in, he’s generated a considerable amount of ‘excitement’ in the party. With this increased exposure, however, his record has and will come under closer scrutiny, and most people may not like what they find out. There has been a good amount of print and web journalism looking into Rick Perry and his time as governor of Texas. First, there’s been renewed interest in how he may have executed an innocent man, and then obfuscated an investigation. Then there was this excellent piece in the New York Times about how he tends to reward his political donors with significant amounts of government aid. From the piece by Nicholas Confessore and Michael Luo:

And Mr. Perry has been much more aggressive than any past governor in soliciting money from them. According to a study last year by Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog organization, Mr. Perry has raised at least $17 million from more than 900 appointees or their spouses, roughly one dollar out of every five that he has raised as governor.

Unbelievable (well, not really).

Then, there are of course his words calling Bernanke “almost treasonous”. This last thing has actually garnered a fair amount of criticism from other Republicans, like Karl Rove. Aside from Jon Huntsman, though, all of the Republican presidential candidates seem relatively content to let Rick Perry go on the way he’s going, saying reckless and stupid things. They’re all (with one or two possible exceptions) more or less pandering to the craziest factions in their party. But they are competing, so will anyone actually call Perry out? His record is screaming for it. And what about Obama? Will he finally get mad (probably the only time he’s been on his game and an effective communicator in the past year)? As he attacks the president and becomes a credible threat, will Democrats use the abundant campaign material in Perry’s record to fight back?

On Jon Huntsman, by the way, perhaps it’s truly a sign of the sad state of affairs when I am impressed by a Republican saying climate change is real. From ABC’s This Week via Politico:

“When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it,” he said, “I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position.”

Good on him, but can he have any chance of winning his party’s nomination while being reasonable?


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