This is an interesting article from Politico about Al Gore and Rick Perry in 1988. I am sure everyone knows that Governor Perry worked on Al Gore's campaign for President in 1988.
Perry argues that he supported Gore before he "got to be Mr. Global Warming." But Politico points out that Gore was openly concerned about global warming from the opening of his campaign in 1987. A spokesman for Perry claims that he has always been a conservative, and he disagreed with Gore on issues like global warming.
I was a bit surprised to read that Perry has always been a conservative. I have a difficult time seeing how a conservative could have supported a Democrat in a national election in 1988. The Democrats had run leftists for President since at least 1972. And this is assuming that LBJ, the author of the Great Society, was a moderate! Al Gore was certainly not a proponent of limited government in 1988.
The Great Society and the Carter years did not cause Perry to question his affiliation with the Democratic Party. Reagan did not seem to have made much of an impression either.
I would be interested to see an account of Perry's rationale for switching parties. Does anyone know if such an account exists?
I am concerned about Perry's devotion to constitutionalism. His conservative rhetoric is generally unmatched by deeds that would prove he is serious about promoting limited government. Perry has talked about state rights/federalism, education reform, limiting the TSA in Texas, and the need to stop illegal immigration. I don't know of any actions he has undertaken to follow through on these words.
Some of his deeds are right out of the managerial progressive/crony capitalism playbook. His attempt to mandate the HPV vaccine and promote the Trans-Texas corridor fall in this category. The Emerging Technology Fund looks like another instance.
It would be unwise to rely only on speeches--especially when those speeches advance the political fortunes of the speechmaker.