Wounded and offended, was how the recently concluded Republican, CNN Tea party debate left Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who had to defend a series of attacks mounted by Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney.
In the debate Bachman pins the Texas governor’s ties to a pharmaceutical giant as the reason for his controversial decision to require the HPV vaccine for Texas schoolgirls. And asserted that; “The drug company gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor, and this is just flat-out wrong.”
In response, Perry said Merck, the company in question, had given him a $5,000 contribution. “And if you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.”
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, knocked the governor for calling Social Security a ponzi scheme. He also hinted that the governor was dealt four aces in the state of Texas because Texas has no state income tax, low regulation, and is a right to work state, that has oil in the ground.
Perry hits back at Romney
Speaking at Thursday’s fundraiser for Iowa’s Greene County Republican Party, Perry who was desperate to recoup chips he lost in the debate, used the poker analogy to get back at Romney.
“As a son of tenant farmers, I can tell you: I wasn’t born with four aces in my hand.”
He went on to say:
“There’ve been some people who’ve said, ‘Well gosh yeah, you know, Texas, y’all got all that oil and gas and you’ve got this and you’ve got that and what have you,’” Perry said.
Then, reminding the crowd of Romney’s “four aces” remarks, the governor said: “There’s some folks back in Texas who were a little offended by that. We worked hard in Texas. We put good, hard, practical principles into play.”
He did not stop there.
While he reiterated his repeated bashing of President Obama’s health care law, Perry again tied it to the health care law passed during Romney’s term as governor.
“One of my opponents in the Republican primary, while he was the governor of Massachusetts – their job creation in that state was 47th in the nation, while he was sitting as the governor of the state,” Perry said. “Government mandated, government-run health care. It’s part of what he put in place as the governor of Massachusetts.”
“The job creation in Massachusetts, and that legacy of health care in Massachusetts, even makes it worse today. There was a Beacon Hill Institute study that came out and shows that Gov. Romney’s misguided health mandates slowed the income growth and cost Massachusetts 18,000 jobs. If it cost Massachusetts 18,000 jobs, think about what ‘Obamacare’ is going to do to this country. ‘Romneycare’ has driven private insurance costs up by $4.3 billion in Massachusetts.”
Because “Romneycare” increased Massachusetts private insurance costs, Perry said, “It’s cost taxpayers in Iowa, and across this country, nearly $4 billion in Medicaid and Medicare costs. This isn’t just about the state of Massachusetts and the cost to them directly. It’s also costing you.”
Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Romney’s campaign, responded in a statement.
“Gov. Perry was clearly rattled by his poor debate performance in Tampa,” Williams said.
“As a result, he is trying desperately to distract people from the very serious questions that were raised about his record in favor of higher taxes, his support of tuition breaks for illegal immigrants, his attacks on Social Security as an unconstitutional program and his controversial executive order forcing young girls to receive the HPV vaccine.”