By Gary P Jackson
On Tuesday Rick Perry was making the morning talk show rounds, talking about the horrific fires in Texas. He appeared on Fox and Friends where he was asked about Jimmy Hoffa’s violent remarks made in a joint appearance with President Barack Obama. Perry refused to condemn Hoffa’s remarks. Saying he wanted to focus on the fires.
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Kilmeade: Governor, i know you’re focused on the wildfires, but when somebody says something like that, do you say that’s appropriate, inappropriate, par for the course? What’s your reaction?
Perry: Well, you wouldn’t be bleeping if it was appropriate. The bottom line is the people I’m more interested in are out here on these fire lines. They’re hard working men and women. There’s probably union firefighters out there and God bless them for helping save Texas lives and Texas homes.
Carlson: I bet when you get down with that crisis, you’ll have a message for Jimmy Hoffa and we’ll have you back on the show to see what you have to say about that, Governor, ’cause i know you’ll have something to say about it when you’re done there in Texas.
Two things hit me here.
One he’s insulting the integrity of the firefighters out there putting their lives on the line. To me it’s like he’s implying if he somehow called Hoffa out, any union firefighter out there might quit what they are doing because of it. If I was a firefighter I’d feel highly insulted by Perry’s remark.
Texas is a Right-to-Work state, in case you are wondering.
It’s also pretty weak for someone who wants to Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s armed forces. Seriously, you can’t speak out about a call to violence against the Tea Party by a union thug, because it might piss off rank and file union members?
Perry doesn’t even know if there ARE union firefighters out there. Just the possibility has him backing down.
The other thing is Gretchen Carlson. She is working really hard to cover for Perry with her act. “Oh I just KNOW you’ll have something to say later, right? Right? RIGHT? ”
Look, much of Texas is on fire. This is serious business. No one expects a long written condemnation of Hoffa from Rick Perry. He actually does have far more important things on his mind. But he was already doing the interview, and it would have taken only a couple of seconds to have stood up to this union thug. In fact less time than he stood there smiling as Carlson tried to cover his behind.
This reminds me of the way things were after the Tuscon shootings when both Sarah Palin and the entire Tea Party were blamed. In the end, other than Mike Huckabee, none in the Republican Party had the guts to stand up for either Sarah, or the Tea Party. Sarah ended up defending the Tea Party herself.
Again, Rick Perry is busy, and as he always has, is doing an incredible job during this disaster. But one has to wonder why he couldn’t muster even the slightest of outrage over an attack on the Tea Party, the very Tea Party he claims to support.
It seems to me that it’s quite possible to not only go after Hoffa, but actually ask the rank and file union members to join you in the condemnation! Maybe Perry could take lessons.
If Perry can’t take a stand on something so easy to take a stand on, then why would we expect him to be an effective national leader?
Why would he pass on defending the Tea Party?
Again, Perry is focused on these fires and doing his job, but he was asked point blank to comment on Hoffa, and was silent, when only a few words were required.