On September 27, Anita Perry was being interviewed at the Texas Tribune Festival when she said, "I see [abortion] as a woman's right. If they want to do that, that is their decision. And they have to live with that decision."
A few moments later, Perry continued, "I don't really think that's making news. Yeah, that could be a woman's right. Just like it's a man's right if he wants to have some kind of procedure."
For a brief moment (well, two and half days), it seemed liked maybe women in Texas were getting some respect. After a contentious battle over HB 1, after getting tampons taken out of handbags at the Capitol, after shaking our heads in disbelief as our lawmakers treated us like imbeciles, it was refreshing to know that at least Anita Perry was listening.
Even a slight deviance from the strict Christian conservative lexicon could spell disaster for Perry in a primary campaign, especially one riddled with such time bombs as in-person debates and having to think of three things at the same time.
For the first time, we were able to look around and say, "Hey, we may not all agree with abortions, but you know what we do agree with? Letting our fellow sisters decide for themselves without a bunch of old white men in a limestone rotunda having a say in the manner." Even better, the first lady of Texas agreed with us!
Until her husband Rick shut down that whole thing.
At a political rally in New Jersey on October 1, Rick Perry told the crowd that his wife misspoke while talking about her stance on abortion. "From time to time, we'll stick the wrong word in the wrong place, and you pounce on it," he told reporters.
Dammit, Anita. Why can't you just get back into the kitchen where you belong instead of actually having an opinion about something?
Joking aside, Rick Perry in all likelihood agrees with his wife. Another thing Anita Perry remarked on during her interview at Trib Fest is how her husband has surrounded himself with strong women.
According to the Texas Tribune, nearly two-thirds of his staff, including his director of communications and his press secretary, are women. Along with his wife, daughter and two female dogs (taking the high road), Perry is not afraid to have smart, savvy women in his inner circle. So why would he shut up his wife so quickly?
Because it's political suicide not to. It's hardly news that there is a growing schism within the Republican party, one in which the contentious political battles aren't fought between conservatives and liberals but between conservatives and … conservatives.
Poised for a presidential run, Rick Perry needs stay on the record as a staunchly anti-abortion conservative. Even a slight deviance from the strict Christian conservative lexicon could spell disaster for Perry in a primary campaign, especially one riddled with such time bombs as in-person debates and having to think of three things at the same time.
It doesn't surprise us that Rick was so quick to clean up his wife's "mess." As the GOP struggles with an identity crisis that — quite literally — has the country at a standstill, everyone is choosing sides. Uncompromising conservatives like Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are on one side, unwilling to deal with stalwarts like Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) on the other.
But back to Anita. It's nice to know that, even for a few days, Anita Perry was willing to see both sides of an issue and say, "I don't agree with you, but I respect your opinion." And for that, we respect you, too Mrs. Perry.