Last week, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry took to the Wall Street Journal to defend the Democrat-led impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a decision that puts him at odds with conservatives like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Steve Bannon, and even former president Donald Trump.
Folks from “Not Texas” might be puzzled by the former governor’s decision to use the Republican establishment’s favorite newspaper to side with the liberal Republicans and Democrats who make up the governing coalition in the Texas House, but is it the biggest surprise from someone who would go on to chair an agency he advocated being eliminated?
Indeed, Perry’s siding with the Austin Swamp on the issue of Ken Paxton is only the latest instance in a sequence of actions that indicates a disconnection between him and Texans. The same Texans that just over a year ago again voted to re-elect Paxton three times in a matter of months, through the primary, run-off, and general, bringing him 5.73 million votes in the process.
The truth is Perry’s positions have been out of touch with grassroots Texans for a good while. For example, take his stances on immigration:
Perry was the first Governor of any state to sign legislation allowing illegal aliens to access in-state tuition years ahead of any blue state; 23 other states have now made the practice law as well. He also opposed the mandatory implementation of the E-Verify system, allowing illegal aliens to obtain jobs in our state and undercut the wages of Texans. And in a 2006 op-ed he argued that creating a permanent program to provide IDs to guest workers would reduce the need for illegal entry, as if allowing mass legal immigration would slow illegal immigration—it doesn’t.
Perry ran for President twice; neither attempt was mildly successful partially due to his naive stances on the issue of immigration. In his 2011 campaign, Perry infamously defended his support for state subsidies for illegal aliens from the debate stage.
“If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” said Perry.
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck responded back by asking if Perry had a brain.
Perry’s endorsement of tuition subsidies for illegal aliens not only hampered Texans (costing around $459 million per year) but also prompted Democrats in various states to adopt the same policy. Massachusetts is among them; just this month, they became the 24th state to extend in-state tuition to illegal aliens. The former Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, a self-labeled ‘pragmatist’ due to his willingness to acquiesce to Democrats, even opposed the legislation. Mitt Romney, also a former Governor of Massachusetts, eventual presidential nominee in the same cycle as Perry, and now one of the most left-wing Republicans in Congress, pledged to veto a federal version of the policy during his run for President. Following Perry’s example, other establishment Republicans like Chris Christie, the former Governor of New Jersey, went on to enact it into law in 2013.
During his 2011 run Perry also spoke out against Senate Bill 1070, anti-illegal immigration legislation passed by the Arizona Legislature, the most expansive of its time, saying it would not be the “right direction for Texas.”
In 2015, Perry found himself at odds with President Donald Trump’s popular immigration proposals presented during a debate. He voiced opposition to the construction of a border wall and the discontinuation of birthright citizenship. Perry dismissed Trump’s call to end birthright citizenship as mere “political rhetoric.” He argued that altering the 14th amendment would be necessary for such a change, implying that the amendment protected illegal aliens and birth tourists, contrary to its original purpose of affecting only matters concerning U.S. citizens, as intended by its framers.
Where Perry has been a consistent disappointment and a downright foe to grassroots activists on the issue of the invasion at the Texas border, Attorney General Ken Paxton has been an outspoken patriot in the fight for strong borders.
As a state legislator, Paxton authored bills to restrict medical benefits for illegal aliens and prohibit sanctuary cities (voting for similar legislation), terminate in-state tuition for them (twice), and he voted against allowing illegal aliens to obtain a driver’s license in Texas, legislation that is only widely supported in liberal strongholds.
Since becoming Attorney General in 2014, Paxton has challenged DACA, the Biden Administration’s illegal use of the CBP One App which includes an executive parole program that grants de-facto citizenship to illegal aliens, and states fronting the cost of federal subsidies for illegal aliens, while defending Title 42, the border wall, the Remain-in-Mexico program, and President Trump’s America First immigration policies.
The divide between the grassroots and the establishment remains unchanged, and this is no different. Perry has countlessly sympathized and even sided with those who support illegal immigration, while Paxton has fought to stop it. For that, he is demonized by the Austin swamp.
Every Texan has a choice, stand with Ken Paxton and a secure Texas or the corporate elite running a witch hunt against the nation’s most anti-illegal immigration AG in the name of protecting their underclass of cheap foreign labor.