By Autumn Keiss
Everything is bigger in Texas.
Texas is a big state, with a big history, a big economy and big portion sizes. However, bigger is not always better, as is the case with Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.
Perry quickly became a front-runner in the GOP presidential race after announcing his bid for president on Aug. 13, according to the Washington Post. Championed by the tea party, Perry is the man many Republicans are counting on to fix the economy and save jobs. But can he save the country?
No. The Texas economy may be growing – 40 percent of the nation’s new jobs have been created in Texas since June 2009, according to Fox News – but little of that growth can be attributed to Perry’s leadership.
Many of those jobs are in the gas industry and the military because of rising gas prices and the two wars America is currently involved in, Representative Wasserman Schultz (D – FL) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Even if Perry’s leadership created every new job in Texas, he still has not saved his state’s economy. The Texas population is rising, so the number of unemployed Texans is increasing in spite of new jobs, according to factcheck.org, a nonpartisan website created to keep politicians accountable.
The Lone Star State, which has been under Perry’s leadership for over 10 years, is also struggling in other important areas. Texas high school graduation rates are lower than all but seven other states. Texas also has a higher percentage of residents living below the poverty line than 45 other states.
Texas is struggling. America is struggling. Is the governor of an underperforming state qualified to fix the problems of a desperate country?
Texans don’t think so. In a poll published in June of this year, only nine percent of Republican voters in Texas said they would support Perry in a presidential race. If his own state doubts Perry’s abilities, his chances of winning a general election look slim. If Perry claims the GOP nomination, Obama may see a second term.