With His Campaign on “Death Watch,” Rick Perry Calls Immigration a “Disease”

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When Rick Perry announced his presidential campaign back in June, he promised that he would be in it for longer than he lasted in 2012. But now, it’s looking like Rick Perry probably won’t even make it to 2016.

First, there was the news that Perry’s campaign had run out of money to pay his staff. And now, this week, Politico declared Rick Perry’s campaign to be on “death watch.”

That’s because Perry announced that he will be restructuring his campaign staff in Iowa, a staff that Politico noted was already “under-funded and under-manned.” Politico called the expected changes “dramatic,” and shared this fun bit of information:

    “One Republican operative in Iowa said that half a dozen Perry staffers currently working in the state contacted him on Monday to inquire about job prospects.”

That’s right, Rick Perry’s current staffers are sending out their resumes to look for new jobs. Oh, and this too (emphasis added):

    Sam Clovis, Perry’s Iowa co-chairman and a prized operative, announced that he was departing the campaign… to be national campaign co-chair and senior policy adviser to Donald Trump, who has zoomed to the top of the pack.”

Perhaps that’s why Rick Perry, after roundly criticizing Donald Trump at first, has decided to take a page from Trump’s anti-immigrant playbook. Last week on Fox News, Rick Perry compared immigration to a disease:

Here’s the transcript of what Perry told host Charles Payne:

“To get distracted off of securing that border is absolutely and totally a fallacy and the wrong thing for us to be doing. You all ought to be talking about every day how are you going to secure the border. Not deflecting off on all these other issues that – quite frankly – the American people want to see the border secure. Because it’s like a disease. If you’ve got a disease you go to the absolute core of what it is. You stop the illegal immigration that’s coming into America and a lot of these other issues go away.

Calling “immigration” a disease is the same sort of xenophobia that has come from Donald Trump and Perry’s Texan rival Ted Cruz. Each time Trump spews some racist or sexist garbage, he somehow manages to rise in the polls. Looks like Rick Perry, desperate for attention, is experimenting with the same strategy. Unfortunately, “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” is not a sustainable long-term campaign strategy. Perry’s going to have to come up with something that sets him apart from the other 17 people saying the same thing as him if he wants to stay in the race. (And glasses don’t count.)

Until he does, Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions will remain on “death watch.”

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About Author

Katie Singh

Katie grew up in Austin and has been involved in Texas politics since 2004. She has been a part of several campaigns, from state house races to working at President Obama’s campaign headquarters in 2012. She loves public policy, public health, and tacos.

Katie tweets from @kasingh19.

1 Comment

  1. Perry’s campaign was DEAD before it began–Most Americans wont vote for a politician who allows his jurisdiction and inclusive communities to become run down, dirty and backwards like a China, Russia or Indian. Excepting Trump, most frontrunners come from cleaner and more progressive environments for citizens and workers alike.

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