Blushing with parental pride, Gov. Rick Perry's parents said in a rare interview published Sunday that the nation needs their son as a leader now more than ever, insisting there cannot be a repeat of President Barack Obama but refusing to criticize the other GOP hopefuls.
The Dallas Morning News published the interview with Perry's parents, 86-year-old cattleman Ray Perry and his wife, 82-year-old Amelia. The pair made little news, agreeing to speak to the newspaper on condition they didn't have to discuss politics and rumors or criticize their son's opponents for the GOP presidential nomination. Instead, they gave a glimpse into what makes the career politician tick and why they not only think he would make a good president, but also has a fighting chance to win the race.
"The way we look at it, this country needs Rick Perry because he's the kind of person who will lead," the governor's father said. "We certainly don't need another Obama; we don't make any bones about that."
But when asked about the sexual harassment allegations dogging the campaign of Herman Cain or about the racial epithets that were once painted on the Perry family hunting lodge, the governor's parents responded with a simple "no comment."
Perry grew up in the vast, stark prairies of West Texas, and his parents believe those roots along with their son's strong work ethic, church training and straight-up style would be good for the nation at this critical juncture.
They recall how hard he worked as a high school sophomore to recover from an arm so severely broken by a horse that doctors thought it would never fully heal. His mother said he struggled through physical therapy and worked out to overcome his naturally scrawny frame so he could play football. He was a quarterback on his high school's six-player team.
She said that's just one example of how determined Perry can be when he wants to achieve a goal.
"The country is declining and we need somebody who can turn it around," Amelia Perry said while handing out Halloween candy to children at a carnival sponsored by First United Methodist Church in Haskell. "If we don't, these children, and my grandchildren, will never know the America we know."
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