Stumper of the Week: Kinky Friedman, Political Historian

The nuttiest things said this week in Texas politics
by Published on

Every Friday from here till the end of this year’s campaign stumping season, we’re honoring the most outlandish, befuddling, illogical or just flat-out nutty quotes of the week in Texas politics. With just three weeks till Nov. 2 (deities be praised!), the competition is only growing fiercer—and funnier. So (with appropriate drum rolls and fanfare) let’s get right to this week’s Honorable Mention Stumpers:

Gays and abortionists still up for grabs, then?

“Women, potheads, the Latino Caucus, the Black Caucus, convicts, dead people and the atheists.”

—Talk-show host Laura Ingraham, enumerating “the people who Obama has reached out to” at the Oct. 8 Woodlands Tea Party

Freudian Slip Department

“That’s what’s on people’s minds, not three moderators sitting there with a couple of presidential, excuse me, gubernatorial candidates talking…”

—Gov. Rick Perry, downplaying the importance of debates at the Texas Conservative Coalition 10th Amendment Town Hall meeting at the Humble Civic Center on Oct. 13

Also, we hear that Gen. McChrystal has been promoted

“I don’t sense any negative consequences from that at all.”

—Congressman Joe Barton, telling Politico that his infamous apology to BP hasn’t hurt his chances of chairing the powerful Energy and Commerce committee if Republicans win back the U.S. House. “Henry Ford once said, ‘There is no such thing as no chance,’ but ol’ Henry never met Joe Barton,” a Texas Congressional aide commented.

Mr. Kaine, tear down those facts!

“It’s not surprising that President’s Obama’s political mouthpiece would tear down Texas.”

—Perry spokesperson Mark Miner, responding to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine’s assertion that the governor’s re-election is uncertain because “Rick Perry has been governor for 9 1/2 years and what does Texas have to show for it? “Education test scores are down and more Texans are uninsured.” 

Otherwise, though, a real likable fellow

“Hank Gilbert is a pathological liar who continues to make false, libelous and slanderous statements in order to deceive voters and hide his criminal conviction of theft, unpaid taxes, current tax liens, and his 2009 arrest for 5 outstanding warrants.”

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, responding to Democratic challenger Hank Gilbert’s accusation that a 2-year-old girl in Lubbock died as the “direct result” of lax regulation under Staples

Watch out for them in 2052

“Each year the Democrats get more organized.”

—Quorum Report editor Harvey Kronberg, quoted in the San Antonio Express-News

But only after a thorough mental assessment

“People that support me because they believe in good government, I think, should continue to be able to do that.”

Gov. Perry, explaining his opposition to Democrat Bill White’s proposal for campaign-donation limits to Associated Press reporter Jay Root

Stumper of the Week

I was still pretty young in the 1890s, but I clearly recall…

“When I look at the Tea Party, I really think almost that’s what the Democrats used to be.”

—Kinky Friedman, telling The Observer‘s Abby Rapoport why he supports Sharron Angle for Senate in Nevada and Libertarian Kathie Glass for governor of Texas