Rick Perry Couldn’t Care Less If You Laugh At His Glasses

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Everyone’s noticed the stylish, thick-framed new eyeglasses Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) been sporting since last summer. They’ve also noted the glasses may represent an attempt to make the governor look smarter ahead of a potential 2016 presidential run.

Thanks to the National Journal’s Michelle Cottle, we now have Perry’s whole eye history to quash any fake-frames speculation. In a story published over the weekend, Cottle recounted her “extraordinarily comprehensive” 15-minute chat with the governor about his eye health.

To make a long story short, Perry got hit in the left eye with a stone when he was a senior in high school and suffered temporary vision loss. Then shortly after the 2012 election, a retinal expert found that decades-old injury had left scar tissue that he needed either glasses or surgery to correct. He opted for the former.

Perry’s wife picked out the stylish frames and the governor is well aware that he’s been the butt of some jokes since he started wearing them in public. Rand Paul, who is himself an ophthalmologist, took a shot at the glasses in an op-ed slamming Perry’s foreign policy outlook on the Middle East, writing that “apparently his new glasses haven’t altered his perception of the world, or allowed him to see it any more clearly.”

“From time to time, someone says, ‘You need to get rid of the glasses,’ ” Perry told Cottle. “And there’s a certain amount of people out there who say, ‘He got the glasses to change his appearance.’ I don’t know whether it changed my appearance or not, but I’m pretty comfortable. I like being able to see.”

Read the whole thing here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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