Rick Perry Says Insane Things, Becomes More Popular

 

Here, for instance, is an insane thing that Rick Perry has said recently, from the Daily Caller:

Speaking to a crowd in Iowa this weekend, the Texas governor and GOP presidential hopeful doubled down on statements he made in his book, Fed Up!, that Social Security is essentially a pyramid scheme.

“It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people,” Perry said. “The idea that they’re working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie. It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can’t do that to them.”

No one who masterminds a Ponzi scheme — or pyramid scheme of any kind — ever admits to running out of money.  What they say is, “We ran out of people.”

Over at Talking Points Memo, they’re wondering how all of this will affect Perry’s campaign:

One has to wonder if Perry will be able to get away with maligning these popular programs on the campaign trail.

It’s a risk, of course.  But Perry seems to be getting more popular, not less.  From LATimes:

Fourteen days after announcing his Republican presidential candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has expanded his lead in a new national poll, while both Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin slide slightly and Michele Bachmann is in single digits.

A new CNN/ORC International Poll of Republicans out today shows Perry now holds the support of more than one-in-four (27%), up significantly from the 15% he had before his Aug. 13 announcement at the Redstate Gathering of conservative writers in South Carolina.

And Obama seems to be getting less popular, not more.  From TBO.com:

Whites and women are a re-election problem for President Barack Obama. Younger voters and liberals, too, but to a lesser extent.

All are important Democratic constituencies that helped him win the White House in 2008 and whose support he’ll need to keep it next year.

An analysis of Associated Press-GfK polls, including the latest survey released last week, shows that Obama has lost ground among all those groups since he took office. The review points to his vulnerabilities and probable leading targets of his campaign as he seeks to assemble a coalition diverse enough to help him win re-election in tough economic times.

And then young people and Rick Perry both agree that Social Security is a scam.  From USAToday:

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds that a majority of retirees say they expect their current benefits to be cut, a dramatic increase in the number who hold that view. And a record six of 10 non-retirees predict Social Security won’t be able to pay them benefits when they stop working.

Skepticism is highest among the youngest workers: Three-fourths of those 18 to 34 don’t expect to get a Social Security check when they retire.

So, let’s add this up:  Rick Perry, the presidential candidate who right now has the most powerful momentum, is saying things on the stump that most voters already agree with, is criticizing an unpopular president, and the left thinks this is going to be a problem for Perry?

Talk about insane.

There are 18 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @KennedySmith

    Remember, these are the same people who say global warmy skepticism is just crazy-talk. And have never checked out a poll on that proposition, apparently.

    Sometime this weekend, either the Weekly Standard or Washington Examiner (I sometimes confuse the two) posited that Rick Perry may fill the Mitch Daniels/Paul Ryan gap in the GOP field. This is something we could not have foreseen.

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    @MelFoil

    Federal entitlement bureaucracies actually exist, but I have much less faith in them than I have in Santa Claus. I don’t think I’m alone in that.

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    @DanielWarwick

    From being the third rail of American politics, perceptions of Social Security have changed to the point that it has become the crazy old uncle in the attic. We know its insane to think that the feds could actually make the payments that are promised and so we try not to think about the crazy old man. But nearly everyone will welcome a candidate who is honest about the insanity.

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    @GiveMeLiberty

    Wait, the Social Security system isn’t a ponzi scheme? Or is it that political pundits and the MSM are the last to come to a realization of the obvious once again.

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    @MichaelFuller

    Perry might be the only candidate that can turn out the “sports fans.” Particularly NFL and NASCAR fans. We need these people to vote in much higher numbers. See:

    http://thepolitikalblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/sports-stats_900.gif

    This might mean that we (PGA fans!) have to live with some “insane” comments.

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    @MatthewGilley

    Yes, but he’s from Texas and sounds like it. That’s an insuperable political obstacle, not to mention that it apparently frightens people in Scarsdale. Two plus two equals four, but if spoken with a twang the statement immediately becomes suspect. Didn’t you get the memo?

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    @DiegoSunDevil
    He’s speaking the truth – or at least closer to the truth, and I think people respect that even if it hurts to hear. The problem of course will come when the rubber hits the road and Congress tries to actually reform SS and/or Medicare. At that point, it becomes personal and people change their stance. For instance, people want more schools/hospitals/policemen/firemen, but they will vote against taxes designed to pay for such things.Personally, I’d like to see SS privatized at least partially so it becomes more of a defined contribution program than defined benefit. I have to laugh when I get my yearly statement that tells me what I’m going to receive in 25 years. As if they have a clue. Given the current trajectory, I’d say it’ll be closer to $0.00 – much closer.
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    @ScottR
    Matthew Gilley: Yes, but he’s from Texas and sounds like it. That’s an insuperable political obstacle, not to mention that it apparently frightens people in Scarsdale. Two plus two equals four, but if spoken with a twang the statement immediately becomes suspect. Didn’t you get the memo? · Aug 30 at 5:13am

    Strawman slayed.

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    @flownover

    So it’s Bernanke’s boss who is being treasonous ? Isn’t that the elephant in the room ?

    Let’s cut to the chase. Perry has been listening, and apparently not to NYT. But then they only have one Groseclose segment.

    Everyone has certainly forgotten what Obamacare has in mind for Medicare.

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    @KTCat

    I think Perry has made a brilliant move here. How do you counter it if you’re Obama? Claim SS isn’t a Ponzi scheme? It’s one thing to use scare tactics to claim Perry wants to eat poor people, it’s quite another to deal with a specific charge that Gen X and Gen Y know to be true.

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    @

    Boy is it going to be fun watching liberal heads explode when this guy kicks the tar out of Obama on Election night.

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    @

    Rick Perry has also made an issue about the high cost of higher education, and has been attempting to come up with a ten thousand dollar college degree program for Texas.

    Imagine what could happen to the leftist hold on the youth vote if he starts making the crushing cost of college tuition a campaign issue. Combined with his willingness to notice the reality about SS and Obama et al might face a real threat with a segment of the electorate that they take for granted, and can’t afford to lose.

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    @Sisyphus
    Rob Long: …

    So, let’s add this up: Rick Perry, the presidential candidate who right now has the most powerful momentum, is saying things on the stump that most voters already agree with, is criticizing an unpopular president, and the left thinks this is going to be a problem for Perry?

    Talk about insane.

    The good news is that, if ObamaCare does not already cover mental illness, it will by the next Executive Order. Perry is certainly saying some of the right things, and I notice the Tea Party chatter trying to decide if he can be the guy. His Tea Party numbers right now are high, but are likely soft.

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    @CrowsNest

    The problem with a Presidential candidate saying that Social Security is a ponzi scheme is that, if elected, he will be absolutely compelled to abolish it.

    You can’t exactly say a program is a wildly immoral activity and then condone it.

    As a historical matter, the system was not designed as a ponzi scheme. But it has largely become one in the course of its development because there aren’t enough folks paying into the system, and benefits packages are paid out too generously over too many years, and too many earners get more than what they paid themselves.

    So, Rick, let’s stipulate you are correct about Social Security being a ponzi scheme today. The very next sentance out of your mouth ought to be “I’m Rick Perry, and here’s line by line how I propose to abolish and replace this ponzi scheme with one that will lead to real financial security for Americans in retirement, and here are the measures I propose to ensure poorer Americans have a safety net against destitution in old age.”

    I’d love to see SS decoupled! But there isn’t a plan on Perry’s website……

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    @FrancisRushford

    It is articles like this one that make me cringe because what Perry has said is essentially true. People may not like it because Perry did not cloak it in the typical doublde speak of a Mitt Romney, but the US government and its entitlements are Ponzi schemes. Mr. Lomng should be honest and state he supports Romeny or Hunstman and does not support Perry.

    The Republican Party is hopeless for 2012 because Perry is their best candidate and he is hopelessly flawed. The Republicans cannot win New York, California or Illinois in 2012, even if we were in the middle of another Great Depression. That gives Obama a 104 Electoral Vote Base that is fixed in concrete and that is generated from only 3 states. The Republicans get a base of a 105 Electoral Vote Base that is fixed from 12 States. The rest of the map strongly favors Obama. The 20% of the self described conservatives that voted for Obama the Pragmatist in 2008 are at it again. Mr. Long please take a bow. Obama will be re-elected with about 48% of the vote and 276 Electoral Votes

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    @SteveMacDonald

    Given the magnitude of the financial and fiscal problems the next President will face, a mandate derived from clearly laying out the situation and his/her answers is absolutely required. if a candidate is considered out of line by speaking obvious truths plainly, we will never get ourselves out of this Grand Canyon we have created through 8 decades of debt accumulation.

    I don’t worry about the reaction from the left – they are in clueless denial and will remain there. I do get very concerned about the anti reaction from our folks. In any case Bravo to the Governor of Texas for calling a spade a spade. If heads explode over SSS, just wait until we get to the tough stuff!

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    @WyleeCoyote
    Rob Long: So, let’s add this up: Rick Perry, the presidential candidate who right now has the most powerful momentum, is saying things on the stump that most voters already agree with, is criticizing an unpopular president, and the left thinks this is going to be a problem for Perry?

    Talk about insane. ·

    I think the logic is as follows:

    Rick Perry is a crazy person, as evidenced by the fact that he’s a Republican from Texas.

    Therefore, everything he says is crazy, and couldn’t possibly connect with voters.

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    @MatthewGilley
    Francis Rushford: Mr. Lomng should be honest and state he supports Romeny or Hunstman and does not support Perry….

    The 20% of the self described conservatives that voted for Obama the Pragmatist in 2008 are at it again. Mr. Long please take a bow. Obama will be re-elected with about 48% of the vote and 276 Electoral Votes · Aug 30 at 11:57am

    You do realize that the post employs sarcasm and irony, and that Rob’s meaning is supportive of Perry, right?

    • #18

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