Tags: Rick Perry | Morning Joe | John Boehner | Mitch McConnell

Watch Rick Perry Struggle to Say Something Good About Boehner, McConnell

By    |   Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 11:56 AM

Image: Watch Rick Perry Struggle to Say Something Good About Boehner, McConnell
(AP)
The normally outspoken former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a lot of opinions on Thursday about his own candidacy, but when it comes to what he thinks party leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are doing right in Washington, it was a struggle for him to say something good.

"Um, listen. I think they’re working towards a… [pause] getting some [pause]… getting some [pause]… um, financial things headed in the right direction, making some, you know, reductions in spending," the GOP presidential candidate haltingly told MSNBC Morning Joe political analyst Mark Halperin, pausing between the words.

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He then started to gather himself a bit, going on to tell Halperin that "the fact is that the American people don’t really see Washington, whether it’s Congress or whether it’s the president… [another pause] addressing the solutions that are facing this country."

Then returning to talking about himself, Perry went on to tell Halperin that Americans "want somebody that can get things done, and I go back to, as the governor of Texas, we got things done. I never did anything — not tort reform, not a major education bill, not any of the big issues we did in Texas — without Democrats helping. So, I think you’ve got to reach across and get the Democrats and Republicans working together."

But before that, Perry had a much easier time answering what Senate Majority Leader McConnell, R-Ky, and House Speaker Boehner, R-Ohio, are doing poorly.

"I think they're doing a poor job of making Americans believe they can actually make Congress work and work with the president," Perry said of his party's leaders in Washington. "Part of that is the president's problem. I think one of the things I learned as a governor is you have to reach out across party lines. I'd rather have half a loaf than no loaf.
We're not even getting a slice at this particular point in time.

"So a president who actually wants to work with Congress and I think Congress has got to be reaching across that line, too."

He wrapped the interview more confidently, after he was asked to explain about a wrist bracelet he was wearing in memory of Colton Rusk, a Marine machine gunner who was killed, and about his effort to bring the man's service dog back to the United States.

Perry also told the program about the time he has spent getting ready for the 2016 campaign. He'd served as governor of Texas from 2000 through January of this year and started out strong in the 2012 race, which he entered about a month and a half after having back surgery.

That campaign ended up being marred by a series of gaffes, including the infamous "oops" moment in a November 2011 debate, when he forgot the name of a third federal agency he wanted to shut down.

Perry told the Morning Joe program Thursday that he's spent the past three years in "deep preparation" for this race and he's now more confident "that I can sit on the stage and talk about this myriad of issues. I mean it's an incredible amount of issues that you have to be more than just passively knowledgeable about."

He also acknowledged the ongoing attacks from frontrunner Donald Trump, and people in a focus group shown on the morning show who said they consider Trump just like themselves.

"I don't understand how Donald Trump would be one of them when you look at, you know, how he grew up, very rich," said Perry, who grew up on a remote Texas cotton farm. But still, he said he thinks the election will turn out to be less about personality and more about experience.

"A flight attendant asked me coming up here said why should I vote for you?" he said. "I said when you get on this airline and the individual that gets up in the front left seat you want it to be the most experienced captain that you have ever flown with."

He pointed out that he's been governor of a state that has the "12th largest economy in the world, the same size as Canada or Australia.

And he urged the show to remember back to 2007, when "celebrity" candidates Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani were leading the race.

"We're going to have plenty of time to talk about solutions and at that particular point in time that's what I think the American people are going to really focus in on," said Perry.

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Outspoken former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a lot of opinions on Thursday about his own candidacy, but when it comes to Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, it was a struggle for him to say something good.
Rick Perry, Morning Joe, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell
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2015-56-30
Thursday, 30 Jul 2015 11:56 AM
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