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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) accidentally threw some compliments toward his rivals Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina during the GOP debate on Thursday.
For his closing 30-second pitch for his campaign, Rick Perry said the next president needs to have a certain kind of experience that, well, Rick Perry doesn’t have.
“Our best days are in front of us,” Perry said. “We can put America back on track on a growth level and a growth rate that we’ve never seen in the history of this country. Manufacturing will flow back into this country. It just needs a corporate executive type at the top that’s done it before.”
Perry served in the Air Force after college and farmed cotton with his father before moving into politics. While he has made quite a bit of money on (ethically murky) real estate deals over the years, he’s not a figure most people associate with a corporate executive.
Carly Fiorina, however, did actually serve a controversial stint as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. The other big CEO in the 2016 Republican pantheon? Donald Trump, who has been trading barbs with Perry in recent weeks, which continued into Thursday’s debate.
“I’ve had my issues with Donald Trump,” Perry acknowledged. “I talked about Donald Trump from the standpoint of being an individual who was using his celebrity rather than his conservatism.”
Perry probably just intended to nix the “corporate” part of the “executive type.” Governors frequently tout their “executive experience” in presidential contests to distinguish themselves from senators and other legislators.