Turkey Trot: How Rick Perry Perceives The World


Cindy Casares Portrait

This week, Gov. Rick Perry let fly from his mouth a verbal gaffe that nearly created a crisis of international diplomacy. The presidential hopeful announced at the GOP debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday that Turkey is “a country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists.”

Many of whom? People who don’t have access to Wikipedia? People who went to Texas public schools? Who is doing this embarrassing perceiving? Well, just stop it.

Both the Ministry of Turkey and the U.S. State Department have rebuked Perry for his “perceptions,” a move that the governor could use as more proof of Obama’s Socialist Muslim War on American Stuff. Or perhaps Mitt Romney will offer this as more evidence of Obama’s continued apologizing for America.

The thing is, I have no doubt that what Gov. Perry said is true. There are “many who perceive” any Muslim country to be a bunch of terrorists. Rick Perry’s record is riddled with such ignorant perceptions that, early on, won him loads of support. His verbal gaffes have finally pushed him into the role of political laughing stock. Here’s a look back at some of my favorites.

The American Revolution was fought in the 16th century.
In October, Perry told a fraternity at Dartmouth College that “the reason that we fought the revolution in the 16th century,” was to get control of the states away from Washington, D.C.

The country of Solynda is getting all our jobs.
Solynda, a California-based solar panel manufacturer, declared bankruptcy in August 2011 after having received $528 million in federal loan guarantees. Rick Perry thought they were a country. And didn’t even get their name right. “I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solynda,” he said in Iowa last month.

America wouldn’t be such a mess if we’d let 18 year-olds vote.
The Governor famously told a group in New Hampshire, “Those of you that will be 21 by November the 12th, I ask for your support and your vote.”

Texas teaches creationism in public school.
The governor told a child on the campaign trail in New Hampshire that Texas public schools teach creationism alongside evolution. A statement that would land us in a whole lot of trouble were it true. In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that teaching creationism in public schools was unconstitutional.

We’re at war with Iran.
Perry mistakenly referred to the war in Iraq as the war in Iran at a December speaking engagement in South Carolina. “That’ll be on the front page,” he added, laughing.

Supreme Court Justice Inigo Montoya is an activist judge in the war on religion.
Just kidding, her name is Montemayor.

Human life is only valuable if you’re a heterosexual Westerner.
The governor minimized recent photos of U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban soldiers, even invoking the memory of a Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was decapitated by terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002, as some sort of justification for the Marines’ actions.

His hands belong on your uterus.
Rick Perry is proud to tell anyone who’ll listen that he helped make it mandatory for women in Texas to be shown a sonogram before getting an abortion.

God told him to run.
Rick Perry believes God told him to run. What he misheard was that God was telling him to run far, far away from the GOP race for president before he gets completely laughed out of Texas.

Mitt Romney will win the nomination.
Despite the fact that Perry will not drop out of the race no matter how much God wants him to, he let slip on ABC’s “This Week,” Sunday that he’s been attacking Mitt Romney’s record as CEO of Bain Capital because he thinks Romney will have to fend off such attacks from the Obama campaign, implying he thinks the Massachusetts governor will obtain the Republican nomination.