7. Perry will likely have a tough time selling himself to the large bloc of senior voters, because of his views on Social Security.
The Office of the Governor reports a speech Perry delivered in 2010:
The assault on those boundaries [of limited, constitutional government] continued with Roosevelt’s New Deal, which honestly had little to do with ending the Great Depression. Instead, the New Deal’s legacy is a glut of federal programs, including a bankrupt social security system, that Americans understand is essentially a Ponzi scheme on a scale that makes Bernie Madoff look like an amateur.
In his book “Fed Up!”, Perry described Social Security as:
A crumbling monument to the failure of the New Deal, in stark contrast to the mythical notion of salvation to which it has wrongly been attached for too long, all at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government. (p. 50)
And, in the debate at the Reagan Library, Perry said:
You cannot keep the status quo in place and not call it anything other than a Ponzi scheme. It is. That is what it is. Americans know that. And regardless of what anyone says ‘Oh, it’s not and that’s provocative language,’ maybe it’s time to have some provocative language in this country.
It’s hard to reconcile these provocative comments with Perry’s later statement in the Orlando debate:
Let me just say first, for those people that are on Social Security today, for those people that are approaching Social Security, they don’t have anything in the world to worry about. We have made a solemn oath to the people of this country that that Social Security program in place today will be there for them.
I think it is likely that many seniors will have a hard time believing that Social Security is both a bankrupt Ponzi scheme and that they “don’t have anything in the world to worry about” if they’re relying on that Ponzi scheme for retirement.