Parade magazine, a weekend supplement in hundreds of newspapers around the U.S., featured an interview with Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Sunday.
It didn’t take long for media to snip one of Perry’s statements out of context. Perry dealt with a question about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate by giving the reporter a humorous response. Perry tossed off the remarks that constituted a fragment of a long interview. Perry said the birth certificate issue “doesn’t matter,” and the governor said it was “distractive.”
Incidentally, those birther rumors weren’t started by the right. Supporters of then-senator Hillary Clinton allegedly started them.
Other than the remarkably stupid, partisan birther question, the reporter conducted a fairly balanced interview. Perry’s responses were honest and forthright. He stuck to his predictions about social security for young people. Thus far, Perry is the only candidate from either party to offer honest warnings about social security.
The government has issued warnings—the Social Security Administration doesn’t even mail out statements to workers anymore, allegedly because the budget can’t cover postage and other costs. Personally, I think the government doesn’t want to promise what it knows cannot be delivered in the future.
There’s a great deal of insight into Perry’s character and personality in the interview. Media didn’t talk about any of that.
Instead various outlets snipped a quote, and even worse, misrepresented what the governor actually said. One Perry supporter I know abandoned him because of that article. I was incredulous, because anyone who read the article should know the truth.
Perry’s campaign did respond—they had to. Subsequently even conservative media had a hissy fit. What, exactly, does a candidate do when his remarks are not only taken out of context, but completely twisted? The response was necessary.
A search query about the incident returned more than 4 million responses.
The real meat of the interview and the substance of the man would more aptly be summed up from this excerpt:
Let’s talk a bit more about you. What’s the one sentence that defines you?
He was for freedom. Early in this campaign, I was talking to some people who were fundraisers. One man asked me, “When I go back to my state, what is it I can say about you that describes you?” I said, “You go back and tell them this campaign is about freedom. Freedom from overtaxation, freedom from overlitigation, freedom from overregulation.” It’s stamped in the DNA of the human being to be free.”
Media didn’t talk much about that passage, even though it’s longer than the other passage and Perry was dead serious when he said it.
The whole interview with Perry is posted at the Parade website.