Donald Trump Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Rick Perry

Donald Trump Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Rick Perry
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Welp, Donald Trump has finally gone and done the impossible. 

Remember former-Gov. Rick Perry back in 2012? He was making an awkward attempt to grab the GOP nod for president but it wasn't exactly working out, to put it mildly. Between his infamous "Oops" moment, his many embarrassing-for-him-but-hilarious-for-us gaffes and a stance on young undocumented immigrants getting in-state tuition (Perry was for it and branded as a liberal, practically-Communist sympathizer by the far right of his party) he made a name for himself as the best comedy act that ever thought he could be president. By the end of that campaign Perry seemed done and doomed to forever only be in the (Texas) history books as the longest serving governor of the Lone Star State.

Going into the 2016 race, we thought we'd see Perry on Dancing With the Stars before we'd see him throw his hat in the ring. Then he did it last month and we alternated between absolute horror over what was to come and pure glee. But there's an X-factor in all of this that we failed to consider: Donald Trump.

Somehow the man who was the biggest joke of the 2012 GOP race is leveraging the ridiculousness that is Trump to make "Perry, 2016 edition" look and sound a hell of lot like, well, the voice of reason within the GOP. No, really.

Way back on July 5 Trump must have already sensed that something was in the wind, that he was not being used and utilized properly as the serious candidate that he thinks he is. It all started with the already-notorious speech last month in whichTrump talked about how he was going to build a wall between Mexico and the United States to keep the Mexican criminals and "rapists" out of the country. The speech offended pretty much everyone there is and Perry was asked to comment on it. Perry turned up on ABC's "This Week" ready to lob some criticism Trump's way. “Donald Trump does not represent the Republican Party,” Perry said during his interview. “I was offended by his remarks.”

Well what kind of a mogul and wanna-be-POTUS would Trump be if he simply took that lying down? Trump swiftly took to Twitter with the following gem:

Well, there must have been a little celebrating in Perry's camp when that little gift of a tweet slamming both Perry's border security record and his trendy glasses hit the interwebs. Perry, wearing his glasses and a nice presidential-looking suit, quickly sat down in front of a camera to send the public Trump a message. It was released on Wednesday.

"Hey Donald, I saw your tweet the other day, but I think you might need to borrow my glasses to get a good look at the steps I took to secure the border while I was governor of Texas," Perry says at the start of the video. Then it gets even more strange, because Perry talks and he talks some more and for a moment we could have sworn that the man started sounding downright presidential. It was disconcerting. We had to rub our eyes hard, take a walk around the block and watch it again to make sure we weren't dreaming, but there it was: Perry, reasonable candidate and guy who can totally complete a sentence, and then complete the one after that. 

Somehow Perry — the governor who ordered the National Guard to the border for that extremely pricey "border surge" business, who once accused President George W. Bush's administration of running a "de facto catch and release program" for illegal immigrants who committed crimes in Texas — has managed to compare and contrast himself with Trump to the point where he is becoming the voice of reason and moderation. (In reality his stance on illegal immigrants is complicated. The same year he signed the legislation for in-state tuition he turned around and vetoed a measure to let illegal immigrants get drivers licenses.) Either way, slow clap for Trump. It takes a really special candidate to be so out-of-all-bounds terrible that Perry becomes reasonable. 

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