Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) is on a media blitz this week as part of his mission to sink Governor Rick Perry’s candidacy, lending a Texan face to national Democrats’ efforts.
“He’s arrogant, he’s full of himself, he just fits the stereotype that is sometimes misapplied to our state,” Doggett told TPM in an interview. “We all are really proud to be Texans, but we’re not proud of what he’s done to our state.”
Doggett urged voters to look at Perry’s recent cuts to K-12 education as a model for how he would govern. After insisting that the legislature not dip into the state’s rainy day fund or raise taxes to help make up a shortfall this year, the governor forced deep cuts to social services instead , including $4 billion in education funding.“My feeling is he will have much greater difficulty selling himself to independent and even former or recent Republicans in the suburbs on issues such as funding neighborhood schools” he said. We have seen a real reversal in the state of Texas from what was once a bipartisan, if inadequate, commitment to public education….meanwhile, we’re dead last among the state in percentage of population with a high school diploma.”
State Democrats are counting on Texas’ bottom ranking health and education statistics to rebut Perry’s emphasis on its economic growth, adding that many of the gains have come in the forms of low-paying, low-benefits jobs.
Still, Doggett predicted Perry would be a “force to be reckoned with” in the GOP primary.
“He is willing to be as extreme as necessary and will not be out right-winged,” he said. “He may come across as a braggadocious Texan in boots, but he is a serious politician who is ready to press the right emotional buttons without regard to the consequences to motivate people.”