In his campaign kickoff last Saturday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry burnished his conservative credentials by attacking the idea of deficit stimulus spending. “Washington’s insatiable desire to spend our children’s inheritance on failed stimulus plans and other misguided economic theories have given us record debt and left us with far too many unemployed,” he said.
But it was not always so for Perry. Back in 2003, lobbyists under Perry’s direction went to Capitol Hill to lobby the Republican Congress for more than a billion dollars in federal deficit spending on “stimulus.” And they won. A 2005 report (pdf) by the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations boasted of “$1.2 billion in temporary state fiscal relief to Texas” through Medicaid that Perry’s lobbying operation had secured. (Watch TIME’s video “Rick Perry Is Ready to Run for President.”)
And that was just the beginning.
Perry isn’t what he pretends to be. It’s becoming the hallmark of his run for the presidency.