Rick Perry: ‘Taken Aback’ By Let Them Die Cheer At Debate

Sure, Rick Perry was shocked at the audience reaction, after he read or heard the public outrage over that incident as well as last week when a Tea Party audience at an earlier debate cheered Perry’s record on executions…


Rick Perry was emotionless last week when faced with the 234 executions Texas has carried out on his watch. But he told reporters in Florida Tuesday that the  audience cheer in support of the idea of letting the uninsured die at the CNN/Tea Party Express debate freaked even him out a little.

“I was a bit taken aback by that myself,” Perry said to reporters from NBC News and the Miami Herald in Tampa Tuesday.

“We’re the party of life,” Perry said. “We ought to be coming up with ways to save lives.”


Perry distinguished from that the issue of “justice,” reiterating his strong support and “respect” for the death penalty on a state-by-state basis. “But the Republican party ought to be about life and protecting, particularly, innocent life,” he added.

He responded to several other moments from the debate last night, including the battle over Gardisil and his support for letting the children of illegal immigrants attend college at in-state rates in Texas.

On that last topic — which led to booing from the crowd at the debate — Perry said the tea party will come around.

“When people really think about it, I think they’ll understand what we did in Texas was the right thing for Texas,” he told the reporters.

Read the report from NBC’s Carrie Dann here.

Related articles

Why Congress Won’t Pass A Jobs Bill: ‘Obama Is On The Ropes; Why Do We Appear Ready To Hand Him A Win?’

The western front of the United States Capitol...
Image via Wikipedia

In my opinion, if Obama’s “jobs bill” or some semblance of his “jobs bill” is not passed before this current legislative session ends in December, the American people will remember this and not take too kindly, the GOP’s decision to stop the progress of jobs for political purposes.  As one commenter noted on Think Progress:

I am personally sick of reading that, once again, surprise surprise, the Republicans are hypocritical assholes whose only agenda is damaging Obama and by extension, the country. WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO SHAME THEM FROM DOING THIS. Obama “taking it to the American people” is his attempt to do this, make no doubt about it. But what are we, the American people, going to do then? The media is an accomplice in the Republicans getting away with this, so we need to keep on the media to quote Rep. Sessions and his colleagues over and over and over again.  Low information voters only respond after they’ve heard something 17 times.

Think Progress 

Marin Cogan and Jake Sherman have done the only reporting that really needs to be done on the prospects for major legislation aimed at creating jobs, or doing anything else:

“Obama is on the ropes; why do we appear ready to hand him a win?” said one senior House Republican aide who requested anonymity to discuss the matter freely.

Public policy is not a zero-sum competition between “Republican ideas” and “Democratic ideas,” but electoral competition is a zero-sum battle for office. In a paradigm where the passage of major legislation counts as a “win” for President Obama then anyone who wants to see President Obama go down to defeat, then no major legislation can pass on a bipartisan basis. This is exactly the problem the White House had in trying to overcome GOP filibusters during the 111th Congress and the main problem they face in trying to reach bipartisan accords with the Republican-led House of Representatives in the 112th Congress. This is thefundamental reality of American politics today, but far too few people put it at the center of their accounts of what’s happening.


[Yesterday], Obama presented Congress with his jobs legislation. In his remarks, Obama noted, “There are some in Washington who’d rather settle our differences through politics and the elections than try to resolve them now. In fact, Joe [Biden] and I, as we were walking out here, we were looking at one of the Washington newspapers and it was quoting a Republican aide saying, ‘I don’t know why we’d want to cooperate with Obama right now. It’s not good for our politics.’ That was very explicit.”

Related articles

Alan Grayson Blasts Tea Party Debate Audience’s Reaction To Health Care Question: ‘It’s Sadism’

The Huffington Post

‘It’s The Same Impulse That Led People In The Coliseum To Cheer When The Lions Ate The Christians’ 

The jubilant shouts of members of the GOP audienceencouraging the death of a hypothetical uninsured man bring to mind the 2009 House floor speech delivered by former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, in which he famously charged: “The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.” Members of the crowd at the Tampa debate agree with Grayson.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the event’s moderator, posed the hypothetical question to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn’t have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? “Are you saying society should just let him die?” Wolf Blitzer asked.

“Yeah!” several members of the crowd yelled out.

HuffPost asked Grayson what he thought of the crowd cheering for the death of the uninsured man. He writes:

My speech was about the fact I had been listening to the Republicans for months, and they literally had no plan to help all those millions of people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick. So I said, in sort of a wry manner, that their plan was “don’t get sick.” All I really wanted to do was just call attention to the stark absence of a Republican plan. But Fox, trying to take the heat off Joe Wilson and Sarah Palin I guess, transmogrified that into a charge that Republicans want to kill people.What you saw tonight is something much more sinister than not having a healthcare plan. It’s sadism, pure and simple. It’s the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading — bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about — “the war of all against all.”

Watch: Grayson’s famous comments on the House floor:

Related articles