Rick Perry’s Problem With The Truth

“It is becoming increasingly clear that Rick Perry has problems with the truth. - Andrea Saul, spokesperson for 'Romney for President'

It is becoming increasingly clear that Rick Perry has problems with the truth. Each of Rick Perry’s attacks has been proven false. Instead of dreaming up phony attacks on Mitt Romney, Governor Perry should explain why he encourages illegal immigration, why he wants to dismantle Social Security, and why he accepted billions of dollars of stimulus to cover up his massive budget deficit.” - Andrea Saul, Romney for President spokesperson

For the third time in three days, Governor Perry’s campaign today released an intentionally false and misleading claim about Mitt Romney:

Perry version of Romney Quote: “The ‘all-Democrat’ stimulus that was passed in early 2009 will accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery.”(RickPerry.org, Press Release, 9/28/11)

Actual version of Romney Quote: “The ‘all-Democrat’ stimulus that was passed in early 2009 will accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery, but not as much as it could have had it included genuine tax- and job- generating incentives. President Obama and his economic team said their stimulus would hold unemployment below 8 percent. But unemployment soared well above that level. Not only has the 2009 package already been far less than successful, it will impose a heavy burden on the economy in the intermediate and long term.” (Mitt Romney, No Apology, 2010, pp. 144-145)

Governor Perry conveniently fails to mention that he used billions in federal stimulus money to cover up his budget deficits in Texas:

“Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010…” “[Perry] likes to trumpet that his state balanced its budget in 2009, while keeping billions in its rainy day fund. But he couldn’t have done that without a lot of help from … guess where? Washington. Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.” (Tami Luhby, “Texas’s Love/Hate Relationship With Washington’s Money,” CNN Money, 1/23/11)

Under Perry, Texas used more than $6 Billion in stimulus money to balance its 2010-11 budget. “Texas, which crafts a budget every two years, was facing a $6.6 billion shortfall for its 2010-2011 fiscal years. It plugged nearly all of that deficit with $6.4 billion in Recovery Act money, allowing it to leave its $9.1 billion rainy day fund untouched.” (Tami Luhby, “Texas’s Love/Hate Relationship With Washington’s Money,” CNN Money, 1/23/11)

Washington Post: Texas “Has Raked In Nearly $25 Billion In Federal Stimulus Money.” “In the wake of the Great Recession, the state has raked in nearly $25 billion in federal stimulus money … Befitting its population, Texas has received the third-highest amount of stimulus money in the nation, behind California and New York.” (Michael Fletcher, “Perry Criticizes Government While Texas Job Growth Benefits From It,” The Washington Post, 8/20/11)

Even as Perry requested the Recovery Act Money, He Railed Against It. On the very same day he asked for the funds, he set up a petition titles ‘No Government Bailouts.’” (Tami Luhby, “Texas’s Love/Hate Relationship With Washington’s Money,” CNN Money, 1/23/11)

Governor Perry’s previous two attempts to attack Mitt Romney this week ran into a problem – the TRUTH:


On Education Policy: Perry’s campaign “Seems intent on playing games with ‘snippets’ of quotes… This is yet another example of misleading campaign advertising.” “[T]he Rick Perry campaign seems intent on playing games with snippets of quotes by his main rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. … Here comes another one, this time on Romney’s supposed support for President Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ education initiative. … Note that the Perry campaign left off the key last sentence: ‘But for me, get that back to the state level.’In other words, Romney supports some of the overall goals of ‘Race to the Top,’ but not the fact that Obama wants to make it a federal program. That’s a critical difference, or else the Perry campaign would not have left those words on the cutting room floor. This is yet another example of misleading campaign advertising.” (Glenn Kessler, “Rick Perry’s Phony Ad On Mitt Romney (Part 2),” The Washington Post, 9/27/11)

• FactCheck.org: “Romney’s full statement … makes clear he was praising the goals but criticizing the way the administration is pursuing them at the federal level. … The last sentence makes clear that while Romney supports some of the ideas behind Race to the Top, he thinks those educational policies ought to be handled at the state, rather than federal, level – which mirrors the traditional conservative view.” (FactCheck.org, 9/23/11)

• The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “[Perry] doubled down with an ad so obviously dishonest on Romney’s position on Race to the Top that there weren’t enough Pinnochios to go around.” (The Washington Post’s “Right Turn,” 9/27/11)

On Governor Romney’s book:

Perry is simply making up the claim that Romney advocated his health-care plan as a model for the rest of the country.” “The Rick Perry campaign on Monday released an advertisement … Specifically, Perry claims that Romney deleted a sentence suggesting that the health-care plan he passed in Massachusetts was a model for the rest of the nation. … Perry is simply making up the claim that Romney advocated his health-care plan as a model for the rest of the country – and that he deleted words praising it. Perry’s claim is directly contradicted on the very page from which he draws his gotcha quote. … This ad is the kind of gamesmanship that gives politics a bad name.” (Glenn Kessler, “Perry’s Phony Attack Ad On Changes To Romney’s Book,” The Washington Post, 9/27/11)

• FactCheck.org: “Perry falsely claimed Romney had once written that ‘Romneycare’ is ‘exactly what the American people needed.’ Romney never wrote that. On the contrary, he said after he signed the bill that ‘certain aspects’ of the state’s law might work ‘better in some states than others.’”(FactCheck.org, 9/23/11)

• PolitiFact: “Perry’s right that Romney’s comments about health care were edited between editions. … But Perry exaggerates by making it sound as though Romney had advocated his state’s plan as national health care policy – a potentially damaging position in a Republican primary. That’s not what Romney wrote.” (PolitiFact.com, 9/23/11)

(emphasis added )


► Jayde Wyatt