Rick Perry talked with CBS News’ Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation Sunday, grabbing a few headlines for his attack on President Barack Obama over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’s “Fast and Furious” gun-running sting operation, as well his walk-back of the differences he had with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the primary debates.
“Rick Perry basically said … that the Fast & Furious scandal was worse than Watergate,” Connor Simpson of the Atlantic opined, referring to Perry’s statement that “this is almost Nixonian, if not absolutely Nixonian in the cover-up that’s going on with this Fast and Furious.”
Perry went on to call Watergate “a second-rate burglary. And now you have a president who is using his executive privilege to keep that information from Congress. If that’s not Nixonian, then I don’t know what is, Bob.”
President Barack Obama has cited executive privilege as the reason for not letting Congress have access to certain Justice Department documents relating to “Fast and Furious.”
Perry was “clearly briefed on the Republican talking points,” wrote Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News, though if anything, the governor took them a lot further than House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa, who, on his own round of the Sunday talk shows, said he had no evidence of a White House cover-up.
Slater also focused on the seeming contradiction between Perry’s support for the in-state tuition for the children of illegal immgrants, his primary clashes with Romney and President Obama’s recently announced immigration policy.
Rick Perry, who as governor supported in-state tuition for immigrant students in Texas, said Sunday President Obama was “lawless” with his order not to deport these same students. Perry was on the CBS show Face the Nation. He watched a clip of himself during the GOP primary accusing Republicans of “having no heart” in opposing Texas subsidizing the children of illegal immigrants with in-state tuition. He said that’s different than Obama’s order assuring illegal immigrants brought into the U.S. as children.
“These two issues … are completely and absolutely different. President Obama is going around the Congress, frankly a very lawless way of doing it. He couldn’t get it done through Congress so he’s basically during an election year using this as a political wedge issue. Very, very different.
Perry also suggested that Obama’s stand was not just a ploy to win more Hispanic votes, but a ploy to distract from the fact that the current unemployment rate for Hispanics is higher than the overall rate.
At the conservative website the Daily Caller , Jeff Poor focused on Perry’s revised position of his “vulture capitalist” attack on Romney during the primary.
“Have you rethought your feelings about his business background?,” Schieffer asked.
“Well, I’d say this,” Perry responded. “That attack didn’t work during the primary. It’s not going to work during the general election either. As a matter of fact you had a number of major Democrat operatives and office holders scold the President rather strongly for going after Mitt Romney with that same exact attack.
“It didn’t work back in 2012,” Perry continued, before self-editing himself to recognize the fact that the general election’s also in 2012. “It’s not going to work in the last months of this campaign either.”
Which still didn’t stop the governor from also saying, as the Atlantic ’s Simpson noted, “They’re ready to have a change in Washington DC in 2015.” Another classic Perry mistatement, or another indication that he’s still aware that an Obama victory would let him take another shot at the Republican presidential nomination three years from now?