Perry Stresses Experience Dealing With Crisises, Natural Disasters As Governor

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Ahead of his expected announcement this week that he is running again for president, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is reminding people of how he dealt with unexpected crises as governor.

“That executive leadership is incredibly important,” Perry said Tuesday at an economic forum hosted by Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott. “And the only way you can get it is by living it every day.”

Perry cited things like preparing for hurricanes and reacting to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as examples of things he has done that other presidential candidates who have only served in the legislature have never dealt with.

“Nobody gave me a manual that said here’s how you’re going to deal with the space shuttle when it disintegrates over your state,” Perry said.

“Nobody said here’s how you’re going to deal with the people who are leaving Louisiana to come from Katrina to be accepted into your state,” the Republican continued. “Nobody said here’s a manual on how to deal with the crisis that’s going to show up on your border. Nobody gives a governor that says here’s how you deal with Ebola when it shows up in your state.”

Perry, who served as governor of Texas for 15 years before opting not to run for re-election last year, suggested that’s a theme he will emphasize in his upcoming campaign.

“I am so excited about the possibility in this country that we have at the White House in 2017,” Perry said. “Someone who understands that concept, who believes that all wisdom does not come from Washington D.C.”

Perry briefly ran for president during the 2012 cycle, leading the polls of Republicans at one point. But after lackluster debate performances and disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, he dropped out of the race and endorsed Newt Gingrich ahead of the South Carolina primary.

Joining a crowed field of Republicans running for president this time, Perry has a lot of work to do: the Real Clear Politics Polling average of Republicans across the country show Perry with just 2.3 percent.

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Alex Pappas