Perry brushes off Bush comparisons
August 15th, 2011
04:31 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry brushes off Bush comparisons

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry dismissed comparisons between himself and former president George W. Bush on Monday, calling them "inevitable" but unfair.

"I am Rick Perry and he is George Bush," Perry declared as he marched through the Iowa State Fair, surrounded by reporters. "And our records are quite different."

Asked what the biggest difference is, Perry responded: "I went to Texas A&M. He went to Yale."

He did not answer when pressed to name a policy difference.

Perry, who took office in Austin after Bush captured the White House in 2000, seemed to bristle at the suggestion, which is certain to haunt him during his campaign.

Some Republicans are queasy about the prospect of the party putting another swaggering Texan at the top of the ticket in 2012, especially with recent polls showing that Bush still shoulders most of the blame for the sagging economy.

"George Bush is not my opponent," he told reporters. "He a former president and we give him all the respect for that, but we are talking about how you create jobs."

Perry is in the midst of his first trip to Iowa as a presidential hopeful, and on Monday he showed off the retails skills that made him such a formidable candidate back home in Texas.

Back-slapping and cheek-pinching his way through the fair, Perry displayed a common touch, posing for photos with toddlers and talking ranching with passers-by.

When offered to taste a sizeable pork tenderloin, he ate the whole thing.

"Pork, the other white meat," he said, before tearing into the slab of meat. "We won't have to worry about dinner tonight, and there will be a good little bit of exercise, too."

He made a point of shaking hands with military veterans and their families and rarely missed a chance to remind voters that he served as a captain in the Air Force.

Perry said that if elected, members of the United States Armed Forces would respect him more than President Barack Obama or any of his Republican rivals who have not served in the military.

"I think they would really like to see a person who wore a uniform in that office and I think that's just a true statement," he said. "I wouldn't back up off it an inch. Go ask your veterans if they would rather see somebody who has never served as Commander-in-Chief."

He added, "Experience matters, having walked in a person's shoes, having done what these young men and women in the military are doing matters to them. I don't want somebody sitting in the front left seat of that airliner who just got their pilot's license."

Filed under: 2012 • George W. Bush • Iowa • Rick Perry
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Mindie from India

    comparisons between Perry and former president George W. Bush called "inevitable" but unfair.

    Comparisons between Bush's economy and Obama's economy – "inevitable" but unfair.

    August 15, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Larry

    Great..another dumbass politician from Texas...The last one put the country on life-support. This one will put it in the grave....And I don't care if you would rather have a beer with him than Obama....!!

    August 15, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Jeff in Virginia

    different nut, same tree. get over it Perry.

    August 15, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    Yeah, right, good luck trying to shake off the man who was governor and left you in charge of texas when he was appointed to be president.
    I wasn't watching TV yesterday and when I heard this clown speak I thought, for just a moment, that I was listening to the same dumg arse texan.
    Your job creation in texas are minimum wage jobs. That means that most people will have to work two jobs or still live in poverty. One pair your ugly boots probably costs more than one of these poor souls makes in a month or two!

    August 15, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. sonny chapman

    Great to have that swagger if this was 1945. But it ain't and you need brains to go with the brawn in this day & age. Obama used ALL resources to get Bin Laden. We saw what happened when Bush/Cheney rejected "soft military power" outright.

    August 15, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Bill from GA

    While W was one of the worst Presidents in recent history, and did much to destroy our economy, he was no phoney. What you saw was the real George W. Bush, good, bad, or whatever. I could stand to drink a cold beer with ol' W.

    Rick Perry, on the other hand, ...

    August 15, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. Jon

    Mostly, what I'm curious about is that $6 billion in stimulus funds he accepted. Does that mean he thought the stimulus was a good idea? In addition, I notice that – according to – that Texas accepted about $11 billion in stimulus funds in 2009 all told. Does Perry claim that his record in job creation exists *independent* of the stimulus?

    August 15, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Chainswecanbereavein

    I hope he can do better than JImmy Carter II we have in office right now....

    August 15, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. "The GOP biggest deception is getting the Poor and Middle class to believe they are out to help them"

    Please dude is Bush 2.1 and definitely not going to be in the White House unless he steals it like Bush 2.0!!! Romney and all the others will soon be playing that card on him in the coming weeks!!! lol Just give it time. Perry is about to become a major primary season target!!! lol

    August 15, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Jim in San Mateo

    We already have enough of Perry's type of politician in Washington. All show and no go. He may be smarter than Bush, but that's not saying a whole lot.

    August 15, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. GrogInOhio

    I'm already sick of reading and hearing about Rick Perry. I can sense a Palin-like publicity storm on the horizon.

    August 15, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Tony

    Their academic records are similar. Both were C and D students in college. Of course, Bush went to Yale, while Perry went to Texas A&M.

    August 15, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. SaintM

    The comparison is not about your leadership, it is what you and the former Schizo-in-Chief have in common: YOU BOTH HEARD GOD'S VOICE TELL YOU TO BE PRESIDENT......

    That is just one of the many ways that Perry and Bush are NOT different from each other. Both are delusional, religious zealots who think prayer will change everything. Rick Perry FYI: All you republican religious lunatics are convinced the world will end in 2012–so the reason you are running for president is???? End of the world or not, don't count on winning the White House.

    August 15, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Joe

    The true comparison is here. Bush & Perry: Dumb and Dumber.

    August 15, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Mindie from India

    they kinda look alike – is that was Texas does to people ? Makes you old and wrinkly with bags you could pack and take on vacation?

    August 15, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. MTATL67

    I want to know what his economic plan for Ameirca is concidering Texas has a $21 Billion Budget Deficit.

    August 15, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Ex-GOP Con

    I fell asleep with the news on and Perry was making his speech.....I thought Bush was back on the campaign trail again.

    August 15, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "I am Rick Perry and he is George Bush,"

    It's somewhat shocking when you hear one of the Teatroll collective...a tru-believing GOP as though he has an identity separate from the rest of them. Perry should tell us what he'd do different:

    Tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations...same.
    Deregulatory behavior (or de facto deregulation via laz enforcement and oversight)...same.
    Militarism, chest thmping foreign policy and corporate imperialism...same.
    Embarass our country to the rest of the world by appearing to be an uneducated ideologue...same.
    Krischun nashun blather about family values, homophobia, anti-choice, attempts to institutionalize Krischun belief systems as part of our legal framework....same.
    Anti-education, pro-revisionist history....same.

    I'm sorry...but Parry might as well be Dubta wearing someone else's skin like Buffalo Bill. It puts the coroprate donations in the campaign coffers or it gets the hose again....

    August 15, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. Matthew

    The man was truely a Captain in The Air Force & a Fighter Pilot, You cant take that away from him. The thing Mitt piloted was endless job losses at Bain Capitol. Romney truely never had a hard days work in his life. Would you rather a have a Morman who wont discuss his religion that has 0 minority Elders while the church has 14 million members or a true Air Force Captain/ Fighter Pilot? He is a true man while Little Mitt is a morman Bigot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 15, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "true Air Force Captain/ Fighter Pilot?"

    We chose Obama over one of those last time. You might want to rethink your strategy/talking points. Nobody cares that the guy flew airplanes. They want to know what he will do once he's elected.


    August 15, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    He used the stimulus to pay Texas' bills - NOT to create jobs. More tax cuts for corporate "welfare".

    August 15, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Bill

    Perry will have a tough time squaring his remarks about "Washington will be inconsequential" with his contant pleas for federal aid every time the wind blows in Texas. He is a clown, but I hope he does win the nomination. He will not fare well in the general. Appealing to the far right is not enough. Moderates and independents will never vote for him.

    August 15, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Interesting that Mr. "All hat, no cattle" Perry refused to note any policy differences between himself and WPE Bush. Rather telling there that indeed he is the latest Bush zombie cultist.

    August 15, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Me

    Perry is right, he isn't George W. Bush. Bush is considered smarter. Perry went to college to become a dog catcher, for goodness sake.

    August 15, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. teena

    just another "C" and "D" student thinking he is smaret enough to be president–oh wait he is Called by God!

    August 15, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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