AUSTIN (AP) Donald Trump is the problem, but it isn’t his personality or his record that is the GOP problem, former Texas Gov.
Rick Perry said Tuesday.
Instead, it’s the fact that the party has become so focused on winning in the general election, Perry said during a panel discussion at the annual Republican Leadership Conference in Austin.
We’ve spent our entire time talking about the coronavirus pandemic and it’s gone from a big story in the election to an election in November.
So that’s a problem, to be honest with you.
Trump is not a bad guy, Perry, who served as the GOP nominee in 2016, said.
He has good ideas.
But I don’t know what is his core philosophy.
It is time for Republicans to say, let’s take this on.
The time to do that is now.
The country needs leaders who can stand up to Trump, who is an ideologue, who will say no to anything.
He’s been saying he wants to go back to business as usual, but we’re not going back to the business as normal that was a part of his campaign, Perry added.
The problem is, Republicans have spent the past five years focusing on winning elections, not trying to win elections, Perry contended.
When I ran, I said we were going to do this thing called the Great Society, which is about social mobility and education and health care, not about the pandemic.
And it worked.
We’re in the midst of a Great Society revival.
But that’s not going to happen if we don’t win elections in November, Perry continued.
I’m not sure if it’s an argument about the president or it’s a point about the party, but this is not what the party was supposed to be about.
And the reason is, we are in this election campaign now.
We have been for a while.
We don’t have time for this, Perry warned.
You can’t get it done by trying to fix the problem.
We are going to fix it now, Perry insisted.
This election campaign, I think the only thing that’s going to help the party is for people to stop listening to the media.
I mean, the media has been saying, you know, this guy’s a clown.
Well, he is a clown, but he’s also a guy that is serious about this.
I think he knows how to deal with the press.
And I think his real issue is, the press has been telling us he’s a phony, a liar, a crook, a phony.
That is not true.
There is a tremendous amount of frustration in the country.
We want change, and we want change from Washington.
But the Republican Party is in a death spiral, Perry argued.
We need a change.
We can’t be the party that gives you a chance at victory and then leaves you behind when you’re finished.