His candor, according to Mark Tapscott.
I’m inclined to agree. There’s still quite the brouhaha brewing over Perry’s assertion that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Tapscott:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has gotten all kinds of grief from the smartest guys in the room crowd in New York and Washington for calling Social Security “a Ponzi Scheme,” and “a monstrous lie to our kids.”
I can’t think of a more fitting place to demonstrate a Reaganesque honesty than the Reagan Library, with former First Lady Nancy Reagan looking on benignly as a couple of her crisply-coiffed Liberal Mainstream Media friends do their best to discredit the heirs to her husband’s political legacy.
Reagan himself often spoke just as bluntly about liberalism’s many sacred cows, and he invariably got the same sort of outraged responses from the smartest guys in the room crowd.
Like when he said “government isn’t the solution, government is the problem.” They were scandalized when he called the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” too. And who can forget “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Some of his own advisors were aghast that he was going to say that one.
Now Perry is getting the business from the same crowd. And it started with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – who knows a thing or two about appealing to the smartest guys.
Mitt can’t spell candor let alone find it in a dictionary. He will continue to play the smartest guy in the room contest at the risk of underestimating how people respond to truth. More Tapscott:
What the smartest guys in the room crowd apparently missed is that Perry also said this:
“And people who are on Social Security today, men and women who are receiving those benefits today, are individuals at my age that are in line pretty quick to get them, they don’t need to worry about anything. But I think the Republican candidates are talking about ways to transition this program …”
Perry appears to understand something Reagan knew very well: The smartest guys in the room crowd are slaves to conventional liberal wisdom and they are out-of-touch with the values and views of most Americans.
Our political elites in New York and Washington are far more attuned to that conventional wisdom than to everyday Americans. If you don’t grasp that fact, you will never understand why three-fourths of the voters trust the people more than professional politicians.
Perry has to present a viable solution soon. He then needs to head to Florida and reassure those currently relying on Social Security. And he then needs to explain to young folks why this can’t continue as is.
He will win.