Texas Governor Perry Sought Smaller Government

Posted January 19th, 2012 at 11:20 am (UTC-5)
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Rick Perry who has abandoned his campaign for the presidency, will be returning to Texas, where he has been governor since George W. Bush left the post in 2000 to assume the U.S. presidency.

Perry, 61, had campaigned for the Republican Party's presidential nomination on a pledge to reduce the size of the federal government. Political analysts said that made him appealing to the ultra-conservative Tea Party supporters.

Perry said he wanted to eliminate three federal agencies, the Departments of Commerce , Education , and Energy . In a November debate with the other candidates, however, Perry lost his train of thought and could not remember one of the agencies, even when prompted.

While Perry turned the moment into one of humor, some political analysts said it highlighted weaknesses in his campaign.

On the campaign trail, Perry held up his record in Texas, as an example of how he could improve the national economy. He has been an outspoken opponent of the Obama administration's health care reform plan. He is a conservative Christian and has supported a half-dozen legislative efforts that would make it more difficult for a woman to obtain an abortion in Texas. He also supports the death penalty.

Perry served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1972 to 1977. Afterward he went into business with his father, farming cotton, until he began his political career as a Democrat in the early 1980s.

Perry served as a state lawmaker for six years starting in 1985. In 1988 he supported the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. Perry switched his affiliation to the Republican Party a year later.

Perry was elected lieutenant governor under George W. Bush and spent nearly two years in that position before then-President-elect Bush resigned in late 2000 in preparation for his move to the White House.

Perry is married to his high school sweetheart, Anita, and the couple have a son and a daughter, both in their 20s.