Rick Perry is running for president…again. He officially launched his bid for the Republican candidacy in Dallas on Thursday. Although he has 13 years of experience as governor of Texas (a state he tried to get to secede from the union), his unsuccessful 2012 campaign that defined him as the “Oops” politician has surely dented his public image and made him a candidate that clearly can’t be taken seriously. Yet behind those iconic hipster, black-rimmed glasses, is not just a goofy candidate, but one we should be equally wary of if his 2016 run gains traction.
1. Still Under Indictment
Perry is still under indictment over alleged abuse while in office, which could certainly complicate his presidential run. In August, a Texas grand jury indicted then-Governor Perry over accusations he abused his power by threatening to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit unless the woman heading the program, Travis County’s district attorney, resigned. If convicted, Perry could face more than a 100 years in jail.
2. Egregious Environmental Abuse
Fitting with his narrow-minded identity as a climate change denier, Perry, under his rule, has made Texas the champion of environmental catastrophes with the state being the biggest carbon dioxide emitter in the nation and home to five of the worst mercury-polluting power plants in the country.
3. Endless Executions
As governor, Perry signed off on more executions than any other governor in American history. He has ignored pleas for clemency from individuals who committed crimes as juveniles, those who are mentally disabled and victims of systemic racism and even likely approved the execution of an innocent man.
4. Doesn’t Care About Women’s Rights
Perry clearly doesn’t care about women after signing legislation that forced most abortion clinics to close —bringing the number down from 47 to five in the state. Thankfully, the Supreme Court intervened and ordered Texas to reopen the clinics immediately. Sticking to his anti-choice agenda, Perry required women to receive sonograms (similar to Scott Walker) before terminating pregnancies.
In addition to his anti-abortion access policymaking, Perry also vetoed a 2013 equal pay bill that would have allowed Texas women to take legal action against wage discrimination.
5. Perry Gave Away Taxpayer Dollars To His Political Donors
The Texas Observer Fund, a taxpayer –funded program meant to create jobs, is actually Perry’s own personal treasure trove dishing out money to reward Perry’s political donors and allies. An audit revealed that the program generated $487 million and $222 million of that money was granted to entities that never promised job creation.
Perry is the ultimate nightmarish, conservative candidate with enough grievances to concern any reasonable voter, but if we’ve learned anything from the American public, reason and general common sense doesn’t seem to gain enough substance to dissuade citizens from voting for a ridiculously perilous presidential candidate.