Just One Week Into His Campaign, Rick Perry Disavows His Nine-Month-Old Book

Ian Millhiser
Think Progress / News Analysis
Published: Monday 22 August 2011
“Fed Up is not some 20-year-old graduate school thesis that Perry wrote before he served in elected office.”
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Last November, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) published Fed Up, a 240-page ode to tentherism, which argues that everything from child labor laws to the Clean Air Act to Medicare violates the Constitution. As it turns out, however, claiming that America’s entire social safety net is unconstitutional isn’t a very popular position — so Perry’s now trying to take it all back just one week into his presidential campaign:

[Perry's] communications director, Ray Sullivan, said Thursday that he had “never heard” the governor suggest [Social Security] was unconstitutional. Not only that, Mr. Sullivan said, but “Fed Up!” is not meant to reflect the governor’s current views on how to fix the program. [...]

In an interview, Mr. Sullivan acknowledged that many passages in Mr. Perry’s “Fed Up!” could dog his presidential campaign. The book, Mr. Sullivan said, “is a look back, not a path forward.” It was written “as a review and critique of 50 years of federal excesses, not in any way as a 2012 campaign blueprint or manifesto,” Mr. Sullivan said.

The campaign’s disavowal of “Fed Up!” is itself very new. On Sunday evening, at Mr. Perry’s first campaign stop in Iowa, a questioner asked the governor to talk about how he would fix the country’s rickety entitlement programs. Mr. Perry shot back: “Have you read my book, ‘Fed Up!’ Get a copy and read it.”

Fed Up is not some 20-year-old graduate school thesis that Perry wrote before he served in elected office. It is a substantial, nationally published manifesto that Perry was proudly signing at book tours just a few months ago. Indeed, as recently as last Monday, Perry was on the campaign trail citing Fed Up for the unusual proposition that “I don’t think the federal government has a role in your children’s education.” Watch it:


After just a few days of embarrassing press, however, Perry now expects the country to believe that his entire book was not intended to be a factual statement.

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12 comments on "Just One Week Into His Campaign, Rick Perry Disavows His Nine-Month-Old Book"

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August 23, 2011 1:30pm

Hard to keep telling lies while running for President, I guess. And easy to get your different lies mixed up. So far he's been inaccurate about jobs in TX, insurance in TX, unemployment in TX.

Must be why only 4% of Texas say they will vote for him.

Angel J. Perea

August 22, 2011 9:22pm

Keeping it Honest: Governor Perry can disavow the book since he probably did not write it! Since he has been governor, Texas has one the worst school system nationally! Sine he is “the job creator,” needs to point out that he worked with the private sector such as Wallmark, Carl’s, etc to create a record of 550, 000 jobs minimum wage jobs that, of course had No health benefits. Further, the fact checked record is that 145, 000 children were taken off State Health programs as well as one of the highest high school drop-out rates in the Nation. Governor Perry’s Texas leadership style that brags about has the highest number of minimum wage jobs in the nation and the highest number of Americans that have no health insurance! O, yes, almost forgot! This fiscal conservative accepted the President’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 at the urging of President Obama, which was response to the economic crisis, to create new jobs and save existing ones; Spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth. However, this Governor pocketed a total of $ 17,114, 746,523 in funds and used those much republican criticized Recovery funds to balance his State budget that was in red! Hum…. Just keeping it Honest in the State of Texas! But please do fact check it!


August 22, 2011 9:11pm

BUT, as the Republican candidate, he'd lose to Obama, the lesser of two evils. Yes, he's wacko (from Waco--TA&M), while Obama is merely marginally competent.

Bakunin's Ghost

August 22, 2011 7:12pm

His ghost writer made him do it!


August 22, 2011 6:18pm

As far as I am concerned, he rates an "F" in intelligence.

Douglas Robb

August 22, 2011 4:24pm

"FED-UP" is a perfectly accurate and succinct title that sums-up thinking Texan's feeling about this coat-tail governor dumped on our state thanks to the debacle of the Bush years. If Perry is elected POTUS, the people of America will surely be "FED-UP" when they see the political demagoguery and right-wing CON stupidity Perry would foist on the American public. Facebook has a thriving TEXANS AGAINST PERRY page that receives daily support and disbelief that ANYONE in America could fall for the bogus campaign being run by Rick Perry. Millions of Texans are "FED-UP" with Perry as much as we can be, and want America to know how "FED-UP" THEY'LL be if Perry is elected POTUS.


August 22, 2011 12:33pm

One reason that might explain his hostility toward the system: He didn't do very well in it. A source in Texas passed The Huffington Post Perry's transcripts from his years at Texas A&M University. The future politician did not distinguish himself much in the classroom. While he later became a student leader, he had to get out of academic probation to do so. He rarely earned anything above a C in his courses -- earning a C in U.S. History, a D in Shakespeare, and a D in the principles of economics. Perry got a C in gym.

Perry also did poorly on classes within his animal science major. In fall semester 1970, he received a D in veterinary anatomy, a F in a second course on organic chemistry and a C in animal breeding. He did get an A in world military systems and “Improv. of Learning” -- his only two As while at A&M.



August 22, 2011 6:18pm

as far as I am concerned, he rates an "F" in intelligence.


August 22, 2011 12:33pm



August 22, 2011 12:06pm

Perry's wacko cracker act seems to play pretty well in Texas, but the national stage may be different.

James Edward Turner

August 22, 2011 12:05pm

Duh, the governor has spoken (in broken, unintelligble Texlish)