Rick Perry

Covered at Reason 24/7: Rick Perry Says GOP Didn't Win White House in 2008 or 2012 Because Candidates Were Too Moderate


Credit: Reason

Conservative activists, pundits, politicians, and wonks are gathered at the Gaylord National Resort in Maryland for CPAC. No doubt many of the attendees are looking ahead to 2016 and discussing potential presidential candidates. Since Romney's defeat in November some in the Republican Party have suggested that the GOP needs to become more moderate in order to attract more votes. At least one former GOP presidential hopeful has different ideas.

From The Daily Caller:

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry argued during an annual conservative confab on Thursday that Republicans failed to win the White House in 2008 and 2012 because they didn't nominate sufficiently conservative candidates.

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  1. Rick Perry can easily think of three candidates more conservative than Romney: Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and… hang on, it will come to him.

  2. The GOP has nominated the “most moderate” candidate since 1988.
    The result has been to either lose or elect an unpopular moderate.
    The most popular GOP President elected since at least WWII was the most ideological.

    1. The most popular GOP President elected since at least WWII was the most ideological.

      I give up, who?

      1. The guy who defeated the Soviet Union and freed 100s of millions from communism.

        1. Boris Yeltsin?

          Seriously, any American taking credit for the way the Soviets imploded is a bit of a stretch.


          1. Ask the residents of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries about that sometime. If the Democrats, or most any other Republican were President the Soviet Union would still exist. Subsisting on US foreign aid in the name of “stability”.

        2. Reagan? Do you mean the Reagan who was actually President, who’d never make it through a GOP primary today, or the fantasy TeaParty Reagan that the GOP Base keeps talking about?

    2. Reagan spoke conservative but he would be a shabby one today.

      He would be pilloried for raising taxes, deficits, EMTALA, O’Connor, illegal amnesty, cutting and running from Beirut, Iran/Contra, and other compromises.

      1. Don’t forget the gunbanning.

          1. The only gunbanning Reagan did as President was to sign the 1986 Firearms Owner Protection Act. That was what the cosmos refer to as a “net gain in liberty”

      2. Don’t forget Reagan also supported the Brady Law and set up the current federal employee retirement system.

        1. Reagan was only slightly more mentally competent than Gabby Giffords when he “supported the Brady Law”.

      3. Oh and also don’t forget that the “most popular GOP President elected since at least WWII” wasn’t actually Reagan. GHW Bush had higher approval ratings both in terms of average (60.9% to RR’s 52.8%) and high point (89% to RR’s 68%)

        1. And GW Bush was more popular than Reagan too (62.2% average approval 90% high).

          1. Your comparison of approval ratings is insanely stupid. GW Bush had an enormously high approval rating for like 3 years after 9/11 because everyone rallied around the flag and people were fist bumping about how we were going to kill terrorists. Put a rock in the oval office and its approval rating would have been 75%.

            Not to mention the fact that Bush’s approval rating was comically low by the time he left office.

            1. I hesitate to admit this but even I approved of Dumbya right after 9/11 and his superb speech.

              Then he pissed it all away by declaring war on the wrong shithole country – among other things (NCLB, Part D, etc).

              1. Signing campaign finance reform. It was the most impeachable offense Bush committed, a violation of his oath of office

                1. And an admitted one too – would have been a heck of a short trial in the Congress…*plays tape of Booosh admitting law was unconstitutional but figured SCOTUS would dump it*


        2. That’s like saying Dante Culpepper was a better QB than Joe Montana because he had better stats. Winning matters, and Reagan won elections.

          1. GWB won as many elections as RR did.

            1. How old are you? 10?

              Look up the popular vote margins and electoral vote counts Reagan won vs W.

            2. I was referring to the GHB comparison, but the comparison can be made against GWB too. Bush did win two elections (albeit there are plenty who claim he only won one). But margin of victory should be worth something, and Reagan did win one of the most convincing margins in electoral college history. Beyond that, one must also factor in the way he was judged in the era after his governance. Reagan is canonized in conservative circles and widely considered capable in moderate circles. Even a lot of the hardcore left won’t attack him as mercilessly as they did while he governed because they don’t want to alienate moderates.

              1. But margin of victory should be worth something

                So stats that favor your argument should be worth something. Stats that don’t are just stats and only winning matters?

                1. My first example was in comparing GHB to Reagan. Stats are irrelevant when the W/L record differs. When the win loss record is the same, then stats are worth considering.

                  As for the stat vs stat matchup between Reagan and GWB, sure, Bush might’ve had higher approval ratings at points in his term and a higher overall average, but I think a lot of that is a function of circumstances and the rally round the flag dynamic. Keep in mind that the signature accomplishment of Reagan’s reign (at least foreign policy wise) didn’t actually occur until 4 years after he was out of office and well into delirium (fall of the Soviet Union). I suppose we can give GWB a few more years to see what happens in Iraq, but I think the verdict does not look very good on that account.

                2. Who is more popular now?

              2. Against Carter and Mondale? ninja please.

                1. Tougher opponents than Al Gore and John Kerry.

                  1. VP President during popular administration overseeing one of the biggest economic booms in the country’s history is a way tougher opponent than unpopular president during a huge recession and a major foreign policy crisis.

                    1. Condescending buffoon, self-proclaimed inventor of the internet, VP of impeached president.A bag of cement should’ve trounced Gore in a landslide instead of wining by just 1000 votes in Florida.

                2. Gore and Kerry? /child please

                  1. The 80 election was a referendum against Carter and stagflation and Mondale still carried that stink. How is that tougher than a popular vp? Kerry wasn’t a heavy hitter but he had a better chance than fucking Mondale.

                    1. Modale was the Washington Generals against the Globetrotters.

    3. The most popular GOP President elected since at least WWII was the most ideological.

      While true, it does not follow that Perry’s brand of old-school social conservative ideology is what the voters wanted.

      It also doesn’t follow that if voters don’t want moderates that they want extremists instead. Like Reagan, you can be ideological without being either moderate or extreme. I think a less extreme libertarian-leaning candidate could have done well last election. I voted for Johnson, but no way in heck was the general public going to elect someone advocating a 40% real budget cut. Just look at all the pants shitting over a fake 2.3% cut.

  3. So which one of the 2012 candidates had the right mix of SoCon/NeoCon virtues?

    I am sure Rick W. Perry thinks he did. But the GOP primaries said Romney.

  4. “Rick Perry Says GOP Didn’t Win White House in 2008 or 2012 Because Candidates Were Too Moderate”

    He’s right.

    Instead of simply ignoring Rick Perry, the GOP should have denounced him completely.

  5. Perry is pretty good on creating a decent business environment in Texas (relative to most states). I also give him points for refusing to punish the children of illegals when it comes to in-state tuition. He took it on the nose from xenophobic Republicans, but held his ground. He seemed halfway intelligent when he ran for governor: calm and soft spoken. But when he ran for President he seemed like George Bush’s less-intelligent brother. Good God that was embarrassing!

    Of course, by any real standard of freedom TX is a disgrace. Places like Kalifornia, New York, and Illinois just make us (and him) look good.

    1. Yes but the governor of Texas is also much less powerful than most governors. It’s almost a consul position with the Lt. Governor.

  6. I’ll admit that I think he has a point. Romney certainly didn’t feel like much of an alternative to most people. He was a white Obama-light. Having said that though, the kind of conservative that would’ve stood a better chance would’ve been one that had an alternative vision for economic growth and possessed some genuine tact and gamesmanship. There really were no candidates in the GOP that met these criteria. Now there might be: Rand, Cruz, Rubio, et al. all seem conservative, have broad enough appeal to capture each element of the GOP base, and are well spoken enough to actually reach independents.

    1. Let’s face the facts here. Growth is mainly about private innovation and not about tax policy.

      Clinton proved the former – Bush the Lesser the latter when growth suffered with low taxes.

      1. Because there’s no link at all between tax policy and private innovation. Your single cherry-picked point totally proves that.

        Lets face facts here. You’re retarded.

        1. But you are an idiot.

          When Buffett said “investors never ask tax policy when great investment ideas are presented” he was right again and you wingnuts will always be wrong.

          The top capitalists agree with me. And Santorum is your just reward – you loser.

          1. Yes, but not every small business is a ‘great investment idea.’ Most small businesses are average investment ideas, that gain minor returns and hope to gain more success in the future. The vast majority of job creation in this country historically has been small businesses, who are overwhelmingly hurt when their already small margins are further constricted by high taxes.

            God, you’re an idiot, and so is Buffett in regards to this issue. You guys talk like the two choices are ‘Google or failure’ and that the Googles will succeeed regardless and the failures will fail no matter what. The truth is, the vast majority of businesses fall somewhere in between, and they are absolutely KILLED by increased taxes and higher regulatory costs.

            Will Google be hurt? No, because they can buy off regulators and find tax breaks. Will some random ass mom and pop diner on the corner suffer? Unquestionably.

            1. Yes Buffett doesn’t have to worry about tax policy as much as the little guys. Then again you have to have a pretty strict definition of “never ask tax policy” if it doesn’t include having an army of lobbyist, lawyers and accountants to maximize tax policy to your advantage. If Buffett is as smart as Buttplug thinks he is then he is a liar.

            2. Buffett knows he’s full of shit. Does anybody really think he doesn’t factor in tax implications when he makes his investments? Of course he does.

              1. Buffet is simply playing the protectionist game. Taxes hurt the little guys who might be his competitors in the future, and playing tax advocate means he doesn’t get harassed by progtards.

                1. Not to mention that some of Buffet’s most profitable purchases (Dairy Queen, for example) were the result of families being forced to sell off profitable corporations to pay estate taxes after the founder died.

                  It’s easy to support higher taxes when you profiting off them.

            3. Bill Gates has his elite Tax~Free Foundation Entitlement$ & his Microsoft Corp paid $0 in tax last year but he still keeps lecturing USA millionaires that they need to pay more in Taxes !

          2. Buffett is a liar if he says he thinks tax policy doesn’t affect investment decisions or the amount of money available for investment. And rates were not that much higher under Clinton than they were under Bush. Growth was also highest under Clinton during the second half of the 90’s expansion (coincidentally or not, after the 97 tax cuts0, which was extremely unusual. The initial recovery from the early 90’s recession was not all that strong.

            1. Forgot to add that there are a lot of factors besides tax policy that affect economic growth (and overall I would say the level of government spending is much more important than tax rates), which is why the fact that the economy was stronger under Clinton than Bush doesn’t mean tax policy has no effect on the economy.

              1. Clinton also had an internet bubble driving growth in those years. That was based entirely on a new technology and had nothing to do with any of Bill Clinton’s policies.

                1. Clinton had oil under $20 a barrel.I was paying $.90 for a gallon of 93 octane hi-test in ’99. The low energy costs contributed as much as the tech boom.

          3. Says the guy who makes his fortune off of terrible United States tax policy.

            Yeah,why question that?

      2. I agree to an extent. There are more factors than simply fiscal policy involved in economic growth. Perhaps I should have focused on economic issues broadly (debt, regulatory burden, etc.). In either event, the point I was making is that the type of conservative that would’ve had a fighting chance would’ve been one of the 2010 tea-partyesque revolt type, not the Santorum socon/neocon. A conservative in all the areas that Bush was a lesser progressive .

      3. Palin’s Buttplug| 3.14.13 @ 8:01PM |#
        “Let’s face the facts here. Growth is mainly about private innovation and not about tax policy.”

        Jeesus, you’re stupid!
        Go fuck your dad, dipshit.

      4. Clinton was the president in the 90’s, which was like a sequel to the 80’s. A decade of excess.

        The economy was in good shape for the first few years under Bush. He won reelection largely on pro war sentiments and decent marks on the economy. Remember, he inherited a mild recession from Clinton.

        The housing and financial collapse was the very result of permissive, “spend now and ask questions later” philosophy continued by this current admin.

      5. Re: Palin’s Buttwipe,

        Let’s face the facts here. Growth is mainly about private innovation and not about tax policy.

        The roaring 20’s and the tax-LESS 19 Century proves you wrong.

    2. Being from Mormon from Massachusetts certainly didn’t help.

  7. Romney actually did not do that poorly. Incumbent presidents are very difficult to knock off. One would have thought the economy andmassive increases in debt alone would have knocked him off, but when you have the media on your side and the kids understand social issues much better than they understand their dismal economic futurs then whaddaya gonna do.

    1. Reagan is the only republican to beat an incumbent in the last century. And my border collie could have beaten Carter.

      1. And yet, on almost everything Obama is a much, much worse president.

        1. Well this country had the major sad bafk in the carter days. Gas lines, inflation, interest rates, and of course then you had the Iranin hostage crisis which was a major fiasco. Too be somewhat fair a lot of those problems were cause by regulation and price controls for the Nixon years. Not that I enjoy defending carted inthe least. Didnt like him then. Dont like him now.

          1. Defending carter. Damn tiny phone keypad.

          2. If he didn’t blow that hostage rescue I think he would have been reelected.

            1. Carter lost progressive and moderate Dem votes to John Anderson because they couldn’t stand a Christian Southerner

        2. Bush the Lesser total Worst POTUS ever overshadows all though.

          The stench of Bush is all over the GOP – whether you suck his dick or not.


            Bush sucked. But he was a great man when compared to Obama.

            And Shreeek sucks Bush’s cum out of Obama’s asshole.

            1. Dumbya can’t even get invited to a GOP convention or that fucking stupid CPAC clusterfuck.

              His own party hates him.

              1. So what you’re saying is that Republicans are far less likely to be TEAM retards like Democrats are. Got it.

          2. Your obsession with Obama borders on fetish.

            Honestly, you should get checked out.

          3. So Obama continues all of the stupid shit that Bush started, expands out to do even more stupid shit, and even comes up with his own stupid shit to add to the pile, and you somehow think he is better than Bush?

            God you really are a retarded little demfag.

      2. “….my border collie could have beaten Carter.”

        Maybe, but Carter could have handed Obama his own ass. That is how bad O’ is.

        Romney? They didnt learn their lesson with Dole and McCain? Who were they kidding?

    2. bada bing bada boom

    3. AlmightyJB| 3.14.13 @ 7:52PM |#
      “Romney actually did not do that poorly.”

      Just poorly enough to lose to a guy who has maintained a recession for 4 straight years.
      I’d say that’s pretty poor.

  8. Their econmic futur is so dismal it can’t afford the last vowel.

    1. Sequester/austerity.

  9. ‘Too moderate’ means ‘not true to the core principles of their base’, which is certainly true.

  10. The GOP could run one of those lady senators from Maine, or John Hunstman, or Chris Christie and the Dems would portray the candidate as a far right extremist. Why not run a real “extremist” who’d gin up the base and actually seem like a real alternative to independents?

    1. So who is this “true wingnut” you speak of?

      1. Goldwater.

        1. Goldwater would be a Democrat today. He hated SoCons.

          1. Don’t kid yourself. Goldwater would be a Tea Party/libertarian-leaner today.

    2. Why not?

      See McCain and Graham’s protest over the Paul filibuster. Because a true conservative/constitutionalist scares the shit out of them. They are more on board with the Dems than they will admit.

      1. McCain coauthored a bill with fucking Russ Feingold. I like that McCain’s definition of ‘maverick’ is ‘I’m the Republican hardcore liberals come to in order to advance their leftist agenda.’

        1. Yes, he had no qualms about putting a knife into the heart of the first amendment, why would he hesitate on the fifth or second?

          The truth is that ‘moderate’ Rs dream of trashing the constitution and becoming dictators just like the POS currently in the white house.

          1. “The truth is that ‘moderate’ Rs…”
            Are wannabe Dem lights.

        2. Feingold was the only Senator of 100 that had the fucking goddamn common sense to vote against the PATRIOT Act and the Iraq War.

          1. And he’s wrong about everything else and is vehemently opposed to pretty much the entire Bill of Rights so long as that Bill of Rights isn’t subverted for war. I don’t know why I should give him a pat on the back just because he’d rather free speech be subverted for far left goals than far right ones.


                1. I messed up, I thought he was saying FeinSTEIN not FeinGOLD.

                  But fuck both of them anyways.

    3. Well, Ron Paul was that person in 2012 and while he did gin up a some, they were mostly outside of the GOP base. Part of the base who weren’t already scared off by Ron Paul’s candid sensibilities wanted Romney because they were looking for someone “electable”.

      (And ironically, in Ron’s circles, even he is considered moderate)

      1. And hence the promise that is Rand. He has all of his father’s positions (or most of them, even if his priorities on those policies vary a bit) and yet he has an appeal to the core of the GOP base and is managing to do it over time at a pace that is intended to move the GOP base in a libertarian direction. We’ll see if it’s effective, but the early returns are promising. Plus, Rand strikes me as having a Clintonian ability to think on his feet and speak extemporaneously as well as some measure of Reaganesque charm. He is the last, best hope for moving actual federal policy in a libertarian direction across a spectrum of issues.

        1. We will see if he can get past the old guard Gop’ers.

        2. Until the 2016 primaries come, and the media replay the questions about the Civil Rights Act. Because you know the media is really going to be against him.

          1. That’s the one I’m worried about. Most people don’t understand why he was right about his CRA position, and the media will make sure they never will.

            I’m afraid that’s what will sink him. Sooner or later the media will have to try to take him down harder than they have.

          2. Aqua Buddha running Negros out of his fried chicken joint with a pick-axe handle.

            1. I see you’ve been hanging at Maddows place again?

              1. They don’t let me hang out at Maddow’s anymore, ever since I told her she looks like Sean Hannity with less makeup.

                1. so you hit on her? she prefers the ladies.

                  1. Chicks dig the Irish. I don’t know how else to explain how gingers get laid.

                    1. It’s the brooding, the anger, and the accent. In some order.

          3. Re: Ted S.

            Until the 2016 primaries come, and the media replay the questions about the Civil Rights Act. Because you know the media is really going to be against him.

            It didn’t work to stop him from winning the Senate and he even went on CNN with Soledad O’Brian afterwards to reiterate his position on the CVA and private property rights. His arguments were so cogent that Soledad was burning with ire, the poor subnormal.

            It will not hurt him. He would have to come up with an Akin or a Mourdock moment and I don’t think he ever will. Even if it comes up, he can perfectly brush it away by saying “I have no intention of revisiting or repealing the CVA. None.” It is not like you will have a Nick or Matt to rehash some old newsletters with controversial articles that he didn’t even write.

  11. OK now there is a dude that totally knows what is going on. Wow.


  12. Again, too late for PM Links
    Game of Thrones: 90s TV drama intro

    1. Awesome. They got that down.

      I wanted to get up and adjust the tracking.

      1. I would still watch that.

    2. Yeah, that’s so full of win.

    3. Xena is one of the first things I masturbated to. True story.

      1. Thanks for sharing.

        1. The more you know!

  13. Reagan was a politician so of course he was an inconsistent shitheal. He supported the Brady Bill but at the same time believed in arming the Contras with arms that were not only illegal under that bill but ones that prevent Americans from owning landmines, sea mines, mortar rounds and fully automatic weapons. Yet, if Waco taught us anything, the FBI and the rest of the federal government is a far greater threat to our freedom than the Sandinistas ever were. Any politician who believes in giving aid to foreign rebellions and foreign troops while limiting American citizens rights to own those very weapons should be taken to a wall, blind folded and shot.

    1. Killing commies funded by off-budget clandestine sales of aircraft parts to Iran wasn’t exactly a bad sort of Presidential scandal. Reagan was killing Sandinistas, without tax dollars or US combat forces.

      1. He bought weapons for a foreign rebellion that he believed to be illegal in the hands of Americans makes him every bit as hypocritical as Feinstein supporting the funding of arms she believes should be illegal for Americans to possess for Islamist terrorist trying to over throw the government of Syria.

        No reason to convolute things. The truth is a straight line that your boy Reagan could not walk.

      2. Problem is that the Contras were just as bad as the Sandinistas. If the only difference between you and the other side is which gang of murderous thugs you want brutalizing the populace, you’re not doing freedom any favors.

        And as history has repeatedly shown (Iran, Egypt, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Iraq) all you’re really doing is sowing the seeds of an even worse regime in the future that will also be explicitly anti-American because the populace only remembers what the guys we backed did to them.

  14. OT: Am I the only one getting script errors over the Feinstein video?

    1. Nope. Same here.

  15. Bill Gates has his elite Tax~Free Foundation Entitlement$ & his Microsoft Corp paid $0 in tax last year but he still keeps lecturing USA millionaires that they need to pay more in Taxes !

    1. someone hung up on you?

  16. Well, duh.

    Mushy moderate Ford lost to outsider and presumed-moderate Southern Democrat Carter.

    Reagan beat the revealed-by-a-term Carter.

    Reagan beat Mondale like a drum.

    George “Read My Lips, No New Taxes” Bush beat northeastern ACLU liberal Dukakis.

    George “Tax Raiser” Bush lost to New Democrat/Southern Democrat Bill Clinton.

    (Health Care & Gun Control Bill Rodham loses House & Senate to Contract With America Republicans)

    Bob “Tax Collector for the Welfare State” Dole loses to forced-rightward-by-Congress Bill “Era of Big Government is Over” Clinton.

    George “Compassionate Conservative” Bush loses popular vote, though is saved by Nader taking votes in Florida and convincing Gore to campaign left of Clinton instead of pure heir.

    George “Shock & Awe” Bush beats John “Dukakis II” Kerry.

    John “Maverick” McCain loses to Barack “Um, Yeah, I Have No Experience Doing Anything” Obama.

    Mitt “I Invented Obamacare!” Romney loses to Barack “I Killed Osama” Obama.

    Republicans, to win, need to run right and paint their opponent left. It’s that damn simple. The exact mix of policies is not particularly important, and neither is how they govern, except insofar as it affects their ability to plausibly run right and paint opponent left in the next election. When the most “right-wing” things you hear from the Republican are quotes in Democratic ads attacking him, the GOP loses the popular vote.

  17. Sadly nobody in Texas has the 30 second courage to tell Governor Rick Perry that in our Countries 2012 Presidential Election,USA Voters first just needed to see & hear if all the potential political candidates liberal or conservative could even speak…

    1. go on….

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