Rick Perry Drives a Mercedes Benz, Lives in a $1.85 Million Mansion

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No, you didn't read that headline wrong. You also probably won't read that headline in any of the news articles about “Tea Party Tax Day” but that doesn't make it any less true. And you have to wonder — if more people knew about Rick Perry's extravagant lifestyle, do you really think they'd still think of him as such a grassroots kind of guy?

Since 2007, Rick Perry has had a lease agreement with Mercedes-Benz financial. The loan for his vehicle is the $10,000 to $24,999 range. Here are links to the records for the leases in 2007 and 2008:

(My thanks to the Houston Chronicle's Texas Politics blog for providing the original links to those documents).

What's interesting is that Rick Perry never mentions what kind of car he drives. In an interview he did for the Texas Motor Speedway website — in anticipation for this Sunday's race, where Perry has sponsored a $225,000 vehicle and blatantly stolen the “Moving Texas Forward” slogan from both the TDP and Bill White — Perry talks fondly of how he loves driving fast cars, yet never mentions that he drives a Benz. (Source: “Governor Rick Perry Shares His Favorite Cars”).

Meanwhile, in addition to the Benz he drives, Perry lives in a $1.85 million mansion. From the AP news story, as reported by CBS-11 in Dallas, “State To Pay $9,900/Month For Perry's Rent House”:

Gov. Rick Perry and wife, Anita, will move out of the 150-year-old Governor's Mansion next month and into a three-story, limestone home with five bedrooms, a heated pool and an outdoor cabana.

The state will pony up $9,900-a-month in rent for at least a year while the Governor's Mansion undergoes renovations starting next month. The 6,386 square foot home in a posh west Austin neighborhood has been listed on the market for more than a year, with the most recent asking price $1.85 million.

Which Rick Perry will Texas' Tea Partiers know about, come November? Will it be the good ole boy from Paint Creek who loves NASCAR and feels their pain? Or the wealthy, out-of-touch Governor whose history of crony capitalism has led to Texas doubling its state debt and more unemployed Texans than any other time in history.

Time will tell…


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. Teabaggers are too stupid to understand this
    Sorry, but as much as the teabaggers yell and scream about the abuses of politicans or career politicans, when they vote they will vote for Perry.

    because he is a republican. It is that simple. and that simple minded.

  2. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
    This is such a stupid article!  Is Rick Perry suppose to drive a Prius or live in a trailer?  This is the same type of journalism the left decries as garbage when it is against their interests, but apparently doesn't mind using to further their own.  This is more typical class warfare from the left.  Envy doesn't look good on anyone!  It's funny you attack the “poor” guy in the race.  How many tens of millions is Bill White worth?  I bet he owns only one car, and lives in a modest home…  

  3. HAHAHA!
    Phillip, I loved your response!  Nice retort!  I am utterly speechless, and all I can do is smile.  That made my day…

  4. the article makes a valid point
    and as a relatively recent convert to Countdown with Keith Olbermann, I wonder how many TEA Party people know Sara Palin has made $12 million since she quit her gig as Alaska's governor?

    Here in Lubbock, the TEA party co-founder beat Delwin Jones in a runoff this week. Charles Perry HAD NOT VOTED in the last half-dozen statewide/national elections.

    I think the liberal media take is wrong on this. These people are not stupid. These people may not even be misled, as they seem to adopt, for their saints and flag carriers, the grifter class of politician unanimously. But these people are definitely badly informed.

    If you go here you can see an image of White's 2009 tax return:


    and the candidate's site (Bill White For Texas) has copies of the financial disclosure forms he's filed every year while Houston mayor.

    (It's only class warfare when we fight back!

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