Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience
Anti-Semitism Biography History Holocaust Israel Israel Education Myths & Facts Politics Religion Travel US & Israel Vital Stats Women
donate subscribe Contact About Home

2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign: Rick Perry

Rick Perry served as the 47th Governor of Texas, and ran for the Republican nomination for the presidency during the 2016 election. Perry was born in West Texas on March 4, 1950 to cotton farmer parents who can trace their roots back to the original 13 colonies. Perry's ancestors settled in Texas well before the Texas revolution in 1835.

Perry had nominal exposure to politics as a young man, with his father serving as County Commissioner. Following his graduation from high school Perry enrolled at Texas A&M University, graduating with a Bachelors of Science in animal science in 1972. From 1972 - 1977 Perry served as an officer in the United States Air Force as a C-130 pilot and flew relief efforts to Mali, Mauritania, Chad, and Guatemala. Upon exiting the Air Force in 1977 Perry had earned the rank of Captain. He returned to Texas to enter the cotton farming business with his father, and shortly thereafter was elected as a Democrat to the Texas House of Representatives. He served three two-year terms, and in 1989 announced that he was switching parties and registering as a Republican. Perry was elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 1990 and was tasked with marketing and selling Texas grown produce around the country and the world. Rick Perry served two terms as Agriculture Commissioner, and in 1998 announced he would be running for the position of Lieutenant Governor of Texas. He won the election and took office in January 1999, and less than two years later was appointed Governor of Texas following Governor George Bush jr's resignation in preparation for his presidential campaign. Perry went on to win four year terms during the 2002, 2006, and 2010 elections, making him the first Texas Governor in history to be elected to three four-year terms. As Governor, Perry visited Israel multiple times.

During Perry's time as Governor Texas state debt skyrocketed: from $13.4 billion in 2001 before he took office, to $37.8 billion in 2011. Perry is opposed to state income tax, and has signed a pledge by Grover Norquist to “veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.” Governor Perry opposed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, even though Texas is the state with the highest population of uninsured individuals and has the lowest level of access to prenatal care in the country. Throughout his Governorship, Perry continually supported programs that extend in-state tuition costs to undocumented immigrants. In 2005 Perry supported an amendment to the Texas constitution that would have defined marriage as only between one man and one woman, and he has expressed support for a national constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Rick Perry is a supporter of the death penalty, and holds an “A+” rating from the National Rifle Association. Perry is a member of the United Methodist Church, and believes in the infallability and inerrancy of the Bible.

On August 13, 2011, Perry officially announced his campaign for the 2012 Republican nomination for President, to challenge Democratic incumbent Barack Obama. He polled near the top of the Republican field in late 2011, but conceded the race after his momentum weakened thanks to scandals and public gaffes.

On June 4, 2015 Rick Perry announced his presidential campaign to an enthusiastic crowd in Addison, Texas. Two months later it was revealed that his campaign was in dire financial straits, and was no longer paying their staffers in certain states. Rick Perry suspended his campaign for the Presidency on September 13, 2015.

U.S. - Israel Relationship

  • “Israel is the oldest democracy in the Middle East, a strategic security partner, tremendous ally.”
    (The Washington Post, August 1, 2014)
  • “Israel needs more than our passive support - it needs our vigorous support.”
    (Politico, August 1, 2014)
  • “I'm a big believer that this country was given to the people of Israel a long time ago, by God, and that's ordained.”
    (Jerusalem Post, August 13, 2009)
  • “The first goal of this trip was to further some of the economic development that already exists between Texas and Israel, and to recruit some of the Israeli businesses we visited here to expand and come to Texas.”
    (Jerusalem Post, August 13, 2009)


  • “Should I run for president, and be so fortunate to be elected, one of my first actions in office would be to invalidate the president's Iran agreement, which jeopardizes the safety and security of the free world. He says it prevents a nuclear Iran. Just the opposite, this agreement enables it. And no agreement is better than a bad agreement.”
    (The Washington Post, April 6, 2015)
  • “The president’s not being open and honest with Congress, and I will suggest to you the next president of the United States shouldn’t be held to this agreement at all.”
    (Washington Times, March 10, 2015)
  • “The prime minister was spot on when he said he’s worried about the future of Israel, and we need to be worried about the security of the United States.”
    (Washington Times, March 10, 2015)
  • “The ayatollahs have the blood of hundreds and hundreds of Americans on their hands, from Marines blown up in Beirut to soldiers killed in Iraq with weapons Iran supplied. This proposed nuclear agreement will legitimize the Iranian regime and its quest for nuclear weapons - this cannot stand.”
    (Newsmax, March 6, 2015)

Hamas and the Situation in Gaza

  • “We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico as well as Iran with their ploy to come into the United States.”
    (New York Times, September 21, 2014)
  • “America cannot be ambivalent when it comes to the terrorist tactics of Hamas and the security tactics of the legitimate and free state of Israel.”
    (The Washington Post, August 1, 2014)
  • “It’s Hamas that uses Palestinians as human shields to protect its leaders and its arsenals, and to preserve its extensive system of tunnels. And it’s Hamas that would, if given the opportunity, take the life of every Israeli within range of its thousands of rockets.”
    (Politico, August 1, 2014)
  • “The United States must take the lead in bringing the international community together to demand the total removal of every missile in Gaza, as well as the complete destruction of the tunnel network being used by Hamas terrorists.”
    (Politico, August 1, 2014)
  • “... it’s also imperative we send the message to Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations that the free world will not tolerate their lawless behavior and that aggression toward Israel and its allies can only lead to negative consequences.”
    (Politico, August 1, 2014)

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  • “War is a horrible thing. When we have a fairly good understanding that Hamas is actually using their citizens as shields, at that particular point in time, it loses a lot of the the power, if you will, from my perspective. When you look back at Hamas’ statements that they will not be satisfied until Israel is wiped off the face of the Earth, then you start understanding the mentality a little bit better of a terrorist organization like Hamas.”
    (Addictinginfo, August 4, 2014)
  • “It’s difficult to imagine the terror that the people of Israel must live with every day. For Israelis, at any given moment a missile might be detected, rocketing toward a residential neighborhood; a bomber might detonate him or herself in a crowded public place; and terrorists sent by Hamas might infiltrate their borders through secret tunnels to kidnap or kill their children. The conflict between Hamas and Israel is merely one part of a much-larger conflict, one with far-ranging implications that can affect the lives of every person on the globe. To begin, anyone tempted to suggest Israel has used a disproportionate amount of force to defend itself needs to remember the origins of this latest round of violence. It’s Hamas that continued to launch rockets, despite Israel’s willingness to discuss and abide by multiple cease-fires.”
    (Politico, August 1, 2014)
  • “Israel’s response has been anything but disproportionate. In fact, Israel has taken extraordinary – even unprecedented – measures to protect as many lives as possible in its efforts to disarm and disable Hamas.”
    (Politico, August 1, 2014)