Messianic Standoff? "Running Against Rick Perry Is Like Running Against God, Everything Breaks His Way"
August 15th, 2011
By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY
With the race for the GOP presidential nomination now shaping up to be a three-person contest, Texas Gov. Rick Perry can expect intense scrutiny of his record as the newest entrant -- and current game changer -- in the Republican field.
The Texas Tribune takes a look today at one of the most controversial decisions in Perry's nearly 11-year tenure as governor: His effort in 2007 to unilaterally require all girls to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer.
STORY: Three-way race
The Tribune reports that Perry "began walking back" his explanation of the decision, after years of insisting he "did the right thing" in 2007 when he signed an executive order mandating the HPV vaccine. He got flak from conservative groups such as the Eagle Forum and even state GOP lawmakers were upset that the Texas Legislature wasn't consulted.
On Saturday, shortly after announcing his presidential campaign, Perry reportedly began softening what had been an unapologetic stance on the issue.
"I signed an executive order that allowed for an opt out, but the fact of the matter is that I didn't do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry," Perry said, according to ABC News.
Texas Monthly, meanwhile, takes a look at Perry's strength as a campaigner and how the Democrat-turned-Republican has won 10 straight elections, sometimes against formidable opponents such as liberal Jim Hightower (then the state's agriculture commissioner) and GOP U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
As the magazine explains, the man derided as "Governor Good Hair" has turned out to be one of Texas' most successful politicians. Just ask Democrat John Sharp, a friend of Perry's since their days at Texas A&M, who lost to Perry in the 1998 lieutenant governor's race.
"Running against Perry is like running against God. Everything breaks his way! Either he's the luckiest guy in the world or the Lord is taking care of him," Sharp told Texas Monthly.
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