Perry: I meant those other 8 justices

posted at 8:30 pm on December 11, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

By now everyone has doubtless seen the various stories of the most recent Rick Perry “flub” during an interview with the Des Moines Register where he was briefly unable to remember the name of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. He then went on to refer to “eight unelected and, frankly, unaccountable judges.” Much hilarity ensued.

But after a barrage of questions, the Register has provided some context to that portion of the interview and the Perry campaign’s explanation of precisely what he was talking about. The conversation centered on a court decision dating back to 1963 ( Abington School District v. Schempp) and the issue of prayer in school, where the court ruled against school prayer by a margin of 8-1.

The paper offers up the full transcript of that section of the interview which, in context, might make Perry’s answer look considerably less silly.

Question : Just to clarify. When you talk about day of prayer or prayer in schools are you talking Christian prayer or non-denominational prayer?

PERRY: “What I’m saying is it’s not the government’s business to be telling folks that at the state level. Obviously if a school is a Jewish school in Dallas, Texas, that private school should be able to do that.”

Question: They can. The issue is public schools.

PERRY: “Well then the independent school boards that oversee those should make those decisions, not government. Again, I mean, the idea that we have to be so politically correct that there’s one family that says, ‘Listen, I don’t want my child,’ then that child ought to have the freedom — can sit over there and play Tic Tac Toe or what have you. But the issue is that for Washington to tell a local school district that you cannot have a prayer and a time of prayer in that school, I think, is offensive to most Americans. I trust the people of the states to make those decisions, I trust those independent school districts to make those decisions better than eight unelected and, frankly, unaccountable judges. And it’s one of the reasons that I’ve called for the end of lifetime appointments to federal judgeships. I would go to some set term.”

There’s no way to tell for sure after Perry’s team has had this much time to knock the question around, but the answer fits. Of course, it would have avoided a lot of trouble if Perry had simply said something along the lines of, “.. better than eight unelected and, frankly, unaccountable judges such as we saw in the Abington decision..” But then, the guy is on the campaign war path 18 hours a day and doing grueling, three hour sessions with papers like this every week. It would probably be a bit much to ask of him to dredge up the actual name of a case from almost half a century ago on short notice, no matter how deeply involved he is in the issue of school prayer.

Either way, take it for what it’s worth. We reported on the flub before and it’s only fair to give Governor Perry a chance to respond.

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It doesn’t matter what Perry says or does. This “stupid Texan” meme was created with Bush and was just an easy and lazy carryover from the same group of detractors and others who want to keep him down for their own reasons.
Perry is certainly not perfect and he definately has not helped his case with his flubs.

But honestly, he could have run a perfect campaign, could have debated like Plato and still would have been pegged as stupid – because it’s much easier to attack “Perry, a New BOOOSH” than to deal with his actual record as Governor.

We no longer elect our politicians based off of their ability, their record or their morals – we have American Idol, Presendtial Edition.

WhaleBellied on December 12, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Here’s the real reason why conservatives knock on Perry for the “dumb” meme. The MSM constantly throws that meme at conservatives all the time. What the herd is looking for is someone who sounds smart so as to overcome the MSM message that conservatives are dumb. This goes to the herd looking for the least objectionable candidate to the MSM.

To me, this ‘herd’ are cowards. They are following the MSM meme, dropping support of a candidate once something comes out from them that normally we wouldn’t think about twice, but is blown out of proportion.

You are cowards for allowing the MSM to dictate your thoughts. Do your duty and take the time to research all of the candidates. The last 10 or 20 years is usually enough of a candidates history to see who they are and what they stand for. See what they have accomplished if anything. That should weigh more than what they are “fighting” for.

If you don’t do your homework, we’ll be stuck again with someone like McCain in ’08. Reagan in 1980 had a great long record behind him and it showed for both terms. I did my homework and came up with Perry as the best consistent conservative who has accomplished a lot, and stands for nearly 98% of what I want – A Constitutional conservative. Hope you all see that too before it is too late.

Ronaldusmax on December 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Lastly, I don’t use sarcasm tags. I’m not known for my sense of humor but thought the sarcasm was fully justified and fairly self-evident–and by ‘fairly self-evident’ I mean glaringly obvious to anyone who can derive meaning from context.

troyriser_gopftw on December 12, 2011 at 12:21 PM

They didn’t teach you consistency in communication when you were in the military? Everyone communicates at the same level for “Clarity” up and down the ranks. But sure it looks like fun, let’s have hours of people reading meaning into each other’s comments, it’ll be fun. We don’t need no stinkin sarc tags :)

Dr Evil on December 12, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Perry People want to equate Obama’s gaffe’s with Perry’s. It is true the MSM amplifies any conservatives error and will ignore liberal gaffes. If it were not so, Joe Biden would already have been replaced.

But complaining about it won’t change reality going forward. It IS important because perception kills candidates. Bob Dole’s reluctance to respond to Clinton attacks because it was “beneath him,” allowed Clinton to be elected. Bush would never defend his Iraq policy vigorously feeling it was “unpresidential” and his negatives soared following Katrina.

Obama also gets away with it because he can look “cool” while making an error. Perry goofy look while saying “oops” was the last nail in an already hermetically sealed communication-ability coffin.

I give Perry a break on this one. But a leader has to inspire as PART of his job and instill confidence he is control. In control of facts.

PolitiJim on December 12, 2011 at 1:32 PM

You are cowards for allowing the MSM to dictate your thoughts. Do your duty and take the time to research all of the candidates. The last 10 or 20 years is usually enough of a candidates history to see who they are and what they stand for.

Worth repeating!

kg598301 on December 12, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Our next President!

NWA Conservative on December 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

I give Perry a break on this one. But a leader has to inspire as PART of his job and instill confidence he is control. In control of facts.

PolitiJim on December 12, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I agree Jim that it boils down to the candidate being responsible for winning voters over. That is where Political IQ has to overcome the drumbeat of intellectual IQ the MSM keeps harping. Whoever is able to define their message that resonates the most and gets past the MSM will be the winner in the end.

No matter how much complaining supporters do it will never change this fact. The candidate is responsible for their message, not their supporters. My earlier point was to jar people into realizing what the herd mentality is and how weak a position it puts them. I’m not going to “Ra Ra” a candidate just because I like them. It’s a two way street and I need them to step up and show me that they have a pair.

Ronaldusmax on December 12, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Its’ too bad so many have to cheap shot candidates, especially with the “dumb” thing. None of our candidates are dumb: none of them. Truth is, none of the Dems that have run for president were dumb either. You just don’t make it to that level of political power with at least some measure of intelligence. But, by all means, call the Dems dumb if it works, there are no rules with fighting the left. But it really is poisonous to use such cheap shots against our own. Even though I’ve never been a Palin supporter per se, I always thought it was awful and fed the left when posters here called her dumb (I’ve been a long time reader).

I know emotions get high, but can’t we keep a little cleaner than this? Hit them on their ideology, their positions, their record and even on their competence, but the attacks on intelligence are just galling.

Malachi45 on December 12, 2011 at 3:37 PM

“Private schools are free to pray as they please. This escaped the fool Perry.” Daikokuco on December 11, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Catholic Universities are being sued because they don’t have prayer rooms for muslim students and they have too much Jesus/Catholic stuff like crucifixes hanging around everywhere.

Catholic universities are being sued because they want to have single sex dorms.

Unions are suing Catholic parochial schools to force them to unionize faculty so they can have a say in the curriculum.

Catholic schools are being sued because of dismissing militant gay faculty who lie on their applications.

It’s a pretty lengthy list and that’s just one denomination that’s been targeted. I won’t even mention the ongoing legal fight with Catholic Charities or the staged protests at parishes during mass.

Don’t know where you’ve been but Perry pays attention to what religious folks talk about.

workingclass artist on December 12, 2011 at 8:35 PM

“But look far enough in this pile of chaff and you find some wheat. On two major issues cited by Perry, Obama has broken with precedent to curtail religious freedom in a way that should alarm staunch secularists (like myself) as well as the devout…”

workingclass artist on December 12, 2011 at 8:42 PM

And don’t give me that “But he done flew one o’ them aeroplanes in the military.” I was an officer during Veetnam in the Naval Supply Corps. Having brains was not a job requirement.

Horace on December 12, 2011 at 12:52 AM

Don’t be so down on yourself.

NbyNW on December 12, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Perry got very low grades at A&M? Sorta like flunking, “How To Blow Your Nose.”

Horace on December 12, 2011 at 1:46 AM

I know multiple young males that test into advanced or “gifted” classes and get poor to average grades, or even flunk out of college. It doesn’t prove much but a lack of interest in school.

How many Nebraska grads have been presidential candidates?

NbyNW on December 12, 2011 at 9:56 PM