Points’ coverage of Rick Perry’s drug policies appeared at 8:13 this morning. Exactly one hour later, the Huffington Post carried the news that Perry was dropping out of the race and would endorse Newt Gingrich as the Republican candidate. Our memo on Gingrich will appear next week– what happens next is anybody’s guess. –the eds.
Editor’s Note: In our second post in this series, guest blogger Kelsey Harclerode explores the twists and turns of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s approach to drugs legislation. Readers new to Points may also want to examine our coverage of Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman. The remaining candidates– whoever there are– will be profiled in the days between the South Carolina and Florida primaries.
When a Presidential hopeful has to refute claims that he was either drunk or on drugs during a speech, as Rick Perry found himself doing (repeatedly) after a New Hampshire speech last fall, one would assume that his policies on drinks and drugs would also be lively. And that is one assumption on which Texas Governor Rick Perry definitely does not fail to deliver. There is a lot to cover, so let’s get right down to it.
Although there are long-standing allegations that Perry has a cocaine habit (and a thing for strippers– oh yeah, and another thing for boys), and although he started his career as a Democrat, no evidence has surfaced to suggest that Perry has ever dabbled in drugs, or even drunk to excess more than the average man from West Texas. In a recent Parade magazine interview, he flatly denied ever having tried drugs, “unless you call caffeine a drug. Or cold beer or whiskey.”
But Perry’s drug policy stances don’t mirror his personal commitment to temperance so much as they do his debating techniques: policy-wise, he’s all over the place. Whereas Rick Santorum’s positions were incredibly predictable, Perry definitely throws some curve balls into the policy arena.