Opinion

Perry keeps his cool at Trump’s ‘sweat jab’; delivers a slap of his own

Rick Perry is not going to get into a pot shot contest with fellow 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

In an interview Sunday on “Fox News Sunday,” the former Texas governor was asked by host Neil Cavuto what he thought about The Donald’s apparent shot at him during his campaign announcement speech, where Trump spoke of “a candidate” sweating when he announced because he didn’t know the room didn’t have air conditioning.

“I’m not going to be running against any of these other candidates. I’m gonna be running for a very positive vision for this country,” Perry said. “I’ll let ‘The Donald’ do what ‘The Donald’ does.”

Perry also said he learned from his 2012 campaign for the Republican nomination, which he acknowledged he was not prepared for.

From Fox News:

“I didn’t prepare properly,” the Republican candidate told “Fox News Sunday.” “I thought being governor of the state of Texas for 12 years was enough preparation … . Until you’ve done it, you don’t even realize what a challenge it is, these broad array of issues that you have to have more than passing knowledge of.”

Perry said having back surgery a month before officially starting his 2012 campaign in August 2011 also was a major factor.

The recovery extended for several months, not a few weeks as expected. And Perry ended his campaign in January 2012 after having lackluster debate performances.

“We weren’t healthy,” the 65-year old Perry said Sunday.

He also said he has learned that “it takes years” to prepare to become a serious presidential candidate and that he has sought the wisdom of such economic and foreign policy experts as former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, whose political career included time as the secretaries of state, labor and treasury and director of the Office of Management and Budget.

“I feel very confident now sitting on the stage,” Perry said. “The American people are going to see a very different candidate than they did four years ago. … We’re going to talk about a vision for this country that is very forward leaning.”

Perry disagreed with suggestions that he’s running on a populist message similar to that of Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that could alienate an array of potential backers and primary voters.

“I sound like a young man who grew up on a dryland cotton farm that understands what it’s like to have to really work hard,” Perry said. “In today’s world, a lot of Americans are out there and they’re going, ‘Hey, wait a minute. What are these people on Wall Street getting rich for? I mean, who’s going to bail me out?’ ”

Perry said all the candidates bring a different talent to the table but ultimately voters will judge the candidates on their track records and he’s willing to put his up against any other candidate.

Carmine Sabia

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