Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined us today on the podcast
Perry told me that President Obama is visiting Texas and that he has asked to meet with the president to discuss Mexican border issues: "Obama's coming in the 9th of August . . . and [Perry's Democratic opponent, Houston Mayor] Bill White has refused to meet with him . . . On the other hand, I
want to meet with him," Perry said.
When I asked whether or not he has heard back from President Obama about setting up a meeting, Perry responded: "Basically, it's been a rather large and loud silence."
We also discussed Perry's background as a Democrat and as a farmer. "I grew up in a house that didn't have running water," he tells me. Perry then became a pilot in the military and flew all over the world.
After serving in the military, he moved back to his family farm where, he says, "my dad looked at me as still that 17-, 18-year-old kid who had left home immature -- and I'd been in command of a rather substantial piece of equipment. The United States Air Force trusted me to take off and travel all around the world and be in charge of this crew -- and bring them home safely, and I'm back at the farm as a 27-year-old, and my dad is still thinking I'm 17."
Perry says that after a while he and his dad (who was a conservative Democratic county commissioner in Texas) learned to appreciate each other.
Perry also told me about his conversion to the Republican Party:
"I never met a Republican until I went off into the Air Force ... I went to my first Democrat convention in 1978, I believe, and I came back and I told my dad . . . 'Those people are different from you and me.' "
In the mid-'80s, Perry was elected to the Texas legislature as a Democrat and that's when his conversion took place. "I'm watching Ronald Reagan on television, my dad and I are sitting there saying, 'You know, this guy represents what we believe in,' " he tells me.
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