Stumpers of the Week: Perry’s Ouija, Sharp’s Waterloo

This week's nuttiest things said in Texas politics


Every Friday from here till the end of this year’s campaign stumping season, we’re honoring the most outlandish, befuddling, illogical or downright clueless statements of the week in Texas politics. With just six weeks left before Election Day, the competition is heating up something fierce. To wit, here are this week’s Honorable Mention Stumpers:

Hey Pot: Kettle would like a word with you.


“Let’s get on with the work of educating our children and quit playing political games.”

–Gov. Rick Perry, denouncing U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for saying he intended to give Texas $830 million in emergency school funding over Perry’s objections.


Except in Afghanistan, that is.

“What I’m here today to say is we need all hands on deck.”

Sen. John Cornyn, urging Log Cabin Republicans to “help us fight the Obama agenda” at a Washington fundraiser—one day after he helped block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Nevertheless, the gay GOP group gave Cornyn, a consistent opponent of gay-rights legislation, its annual Barry Goldwater Award. The late Sen. Goldwater famously called anti-gay military policies “a dumb idea” and “stupid.”

This year’s essay-contest winner is…

“RESOLVED, That the SBOE will look to reject future prejudicial Social Studies submissions that continue to offend Texas law with respect to treatment of the world’s major religious groups by significant inequalities of coverage space-wise and/or by demonizing or lionizing one or more of them over others…”

from the Texas State Board of Education’s non-binding resolution complaining about supposed “pro-Islamic, anti-Christian” bias in world history textbooks, which passed on Sept. 24.

The spirits will speak to us after the election, then?

“I think it’s a little bit premature to be getting your crystal ball out or your Ouija board or whatever these people are using.”


—Gov. Rick Perry, dismissing the Legislative Budget Board’s projections of an $18 billion budget shortfall.

The math is clear!

“If you look at the percentages, you would probably say that African-Americans represent about 8 to 10 percent of the population in America. And if you go to these events, you would probably see about 10 percent African-Americans. If it’s 500,000 people, like it was in Washington, D.C. [at the Aug. 28 Glenn Beck rally], 10 percent of that would be about 50,000. And if they’re not all standing together, 50,000 doesn’t look like very much in 500,000, does it?”


—Republican Congressional candidate Stephen Broden of Dallas, answering Texas Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton’s question about the Tea Party’s reputation for being overwhelmingly Anglo. Broden, a Tea Party activist and pastor running against scandal-plagued Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson, was lifted from obscurity this week by an endorsement from Sarah Palin.




Why, no. Are you?

“Are you trying to lose? Is this a recipe for complete disaster?”


—Democratic Supreme Court candidate Jim Sharp, deriding the presence of lieutenant governor candidate Linda Chavez-Thompson—whom he called “an Hispanic female labor boss”—on the party’s ticket. In his interview with the Austin American-Statesman‘s Ken Herman, Sharp also fretted that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White lacks the necessary experience with state government.



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