Rick Perry

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Rick Perry has served as Governor of Texas from 2000-2015, winning a special election when George W. Bush became President of the United States. Perry announced that after 2015 he would not be seeking re-election as Governor. Rick Perry ran for president in 2012 but failed to secure the Republican nomination. He announced his 2016 campaign in June 2015 at Addison Airport near Dallas, Texas.



On the Issues

AAI tracks statements, non-statements, and the track records of each presidential candidate on the issues we care about most. Click on an issue to read what Rick Perry has said on the campaign trail.


Foreign Policy     

Domestic Policy


U.S. Role in the Middle East 

Voting Rights 


U.S. Response to ISIL

Civil Rights + Civil Liberties








Community Policing




Bigoted Speech


Iran Negotiations 

Immigration Reform

Key Advisors

  • Avik Roy: Senior Advisor. During the 2012 campaign cycle, Roy served as an Adviser to Mitt Romney on Health Care issues. He is an Editor for Forbes magazine and a Senior Fellow at the conservative think tank, Manhattan Institute.
  • Greg Strimple: Pollster. Strimple is a political veteran who has worked on Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) 2008 presidential bid and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s gubernatorial campaigns.


The U.S. Role in the Middle East

“The president historically has been late to action on a lot of these issues that have occurred in the Middle East in particular. Our allies need to know that we’re going to be there for them. I think signaling whether we are going to have boots on the ground or whether we’re going to be doing it through this particular means or not — I think we need to keep all of our options open.”(August 2014, Time)

U.S. Response to ISIL

“Nothing less than a sustained air campaign to degrade and destroy ISIS forces is required.”(August 2014, CNN Political Ticker)


"The Obama Administration's call for Syrian President Assad to step down is long overdue. President Assad threatens the safety and security not only of the Syrian people, but the entire Middle East. He also supports terrorist organizations Hezbollah and Hamas. Every diplomatic option should be brought to bear to prevent President Assad from wreaking further violence on his people and the region."(August 2011, UCSB Presidency Project)

“Tragically, the Syrian people continue to suffer at the hands of this dictator because the Obama Administration’s empty words did nothing to stop Assad. We cannot afford to continue to blindly trust dictators who attack their own people to uphold international agreements without penalty.”(May 2015, Free Beacon)


"My faith requires me to support Israel."(September 2009, Weekly Standard)

"The Obama policy of moral equivalence, which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and the Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a very dangerous insult. There is no middle ground between our allies and those who seek their destruction.”(September 2011, The Guardian)

"I also as a Christian have a clear directive to support Israel. So from my perspective, it's pretty easy. Both as an American and as a Christian, I am going to stand with Israel."(September 2011, CNN)

“Israel needs more than our passive support—it needs our vigorous support. The overwhelming success of the Iron Dome defense system has been the only thing to prevent the deaths of thousands of Israelis, and changes nothing in Hamas’ deadly intent. And under the circumstances, Israel’s response has been anything but disproportionate. In fact, Israel has taken extraordinary – even unprecedented – measures to protect as many lives as possible in its efforts to disarm and disable Hamas. The United States must take the lead in bringing the international community together to demand the total removal of every missile in Gaza, as well as the complete destruction of the tunnel network being used by Hamas terrorists. To facilitate this, the United States must use the tools available to us diplomatically and continue to support the actions of the Israel Defense Forces. Should the international community fail to join us in sufficient numbers, the United States should block actions in the United Nations aimed at preventing Israel from defending itself.”(August 2014, Politico)


No statements recorded. If you'd like to submit a statement to appear on this website, please email Kristin McCarthy.

Iran Nuclear Deal 

“I will tell you one thing: I would whole lot rather had Carly Fiorina over there doing our negotiation than John Kerry. Maybe we would've gotten a deal where we didn't give everything away. But the issue for us is to have a Congress that stands up and says not only no, but hell no, to this money going to a regime that is going to use it for terror” (August 2015, Fox News Debate)

“One of the great challenges that we have, $150 billion is fixing to go to a country that killed our Marines in Lebanon, that used their weapons to kill our young men in Iran...But the issue for us is to have a Congress that stands up and says not only no, but "Hell no" to this money going to a regime that is going to use it for terror, Susan Rice has said that, and we need to stand up and strongly and clearly tell the ayatollah that -- whoever the next president of the United States is going to be, and I'll promise you, if it's me, the first thing that I will do is tear up that agreement with Iran.” (August 2015, Fox News Debate)

“President Obama’s decision to sign a nuclear deal with Iran is one of the most destructive foreign policy decisions in my lifetime. For decades to come, the world will have to deal with the repercussions of this agreement, which will actually make it easier for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.” (July 2015, rickperry.org)

“Iran has shown itself to be uncooperative on this most basic requirement for oversight and verification, and the Obama Administration is prepared to, yet again, concede any position in order to secure a foreign policy ‘victory.’ This Administration has asked the American public and the world to trust that ‘if Iran cheats, the world will know it,’ but has dramatically forfeited our ability to verify compliance. I urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to stop accommodating Iran, and have the courage to walk away from the table.”(June 2015, Rickperry.org)

"Should I run for President, and be so fortunate to be elected, one of my first actions in office would be to invalidate the president's Iran agreement, which jeopardizes the safety and security of the free world,"(April 2015, the Washington Post)

Voting Rights

“I think it makes sense to have a photo ID to be able to vote. When I got on the airline to come up here yesterday I had to show my photo ID.”(June 2015, Fox and Friends)

Responding to Hillary Clinton’s claims of voter ID laws stopping minorities from voting. “I think we make it pretty easy in the state of Texas for people to vote, so, you know, again, I don't know what her beef is with the people of the state of Texas about voter ID, but I think she's on the wrong side of the issue.”(June 2015, The Hill)

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

No statements recorded. If you'd like to submit a statement to appear on this website, please email Kristin McCarthy.


In reference to the perpetrators of the shooting in Garland, Tx: "We knew who these people were. This wasn't a secret, and to be able to listen in to those individuals' conversations, to track what those individuals are doing, I think most Americans would agree that's where we need to be using our technology, our listening in, our ability to track what these individuals are doing on the Internet." (May 2015, Texas Tribune.)

Community Policing

No statements recorded. If you'd like to submit a statement to appear on this website, please email Kristin McCarthy.

Bigoted Speech: Instances of Condemnation and/or Use

*The Arab American Institute is leading a campaign to hold public officials accountable for their bigoted rhetoric this election cycle. Join us by signing our Pledge to Combat Bigotry, and use #NoBigotry on social media to hold candidates accountable and thank candidates who stand against it.*

No statements recorded. If you'd like to submit a statement to appear on this website, please email Kristin McCarthy.

Immigration Reform

"Is the problem people coming into the United States, having children that in turn allows them to be an American citizen? Yes. That's the problem. How's the best way to take care of it? I would suggest to you, stop them from coming in to begin with illegally. Build that security on that border with the personnel, with the strategic fence and the aviation assets, then you don't have to have that conversation…I'll let the legal beagles and the lawyers have the conversation about what happens if you did away with the 14th Amendment but, I mean, I have to live with reality and reality is that it takes, at best, years, probably decades, to deal with that 14th Amendment issue - I don't have that much time, I don't think America has that much time, I think we need to be securing the borders and get the borders secure the 14th amendment things seems inconsequential" (August 2015, Iowa State Fair)

“You're not going to have comprehensive immigration reform until the border is secure. The American people do not trust Washington to do these two things at the same time. They expect the border to be safe & secured. They want to be able to live in their communities and feel like they're safe. And if this president does not do what's required to secure the border first, I will suggest to you: whatever he does is going to be a failure.”(August 2014, Fox News)

“What we are concerned about are the 80% of individuals who don't get talked about enough that are coming into the U.S. illegally, and committing substantial crimes. Since 2008, we have seen 203,000 individuals who have illegally come into Texas, booked into Texas county jails. And these individuals are responsible for over 3,000 homicides and almost 8,000 sexual assaults. That's the reason that we are deploying 1,000 National Guard troops, to try to make communities safer, and that is my goal…. I do stand by [those numbers], by the way, but what are the number of homicides that are acceptable to those individuals? How many sexual assaults do we have to have before Washington D.C. acts to keep our citizens safe? That border is not secure. It's time for us to secure that border.”(August 2014, Breitbart)

"There’s the obvious great concern that because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of it not being secure and us not knowing who is penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be [crossing the border] — and I think there is a very real possibility that they may have already used that." (August 2014, Business Insider)

"We have no clear evidence of that but your common sense tells you when we’ve seen the number of criminal activities that have occurred — and I’m talking about the assaults, the rapes, the murders — by individuals who have come into this country illegally over the last five years, the idea that they would not be looking at [the border] ... is not a good place to be," he said.”(August 2014, Business Insider)

“And nobody, nobody on either one of these stages has done more than I've done and the people of the State of Texas to deal with securing that border. We sent our Texas ranger recon teams. We sent our parks and wildlife wardens. I deployed the National Guard after I stood on the ramp in Dallas, Texas and looked the president of the United States in the eye and said, "Mr. President, if you won't secure the border, Texas will," and that's exactly what we did. We need a president that doesn't just talk a game, but a president that's got real results.” (August 2015, Fox News Debate)

“The American people are never going to trust Washington, D.C., and for good reason. We hear all this discussion about well, I would do this, or I would do that, when the fact is, the border is still porous. Until we have a president of the United States that gets up every day and goes to the Oval Office with the intent purpose of securing that border, and there's not anybody on either one of these stages that has the experience of dealing with this as I have for over 14 years with that 1200-mile border.” (August 2015, Fox News Debate)

“We have to put the personnel on that border in the right places; you have to put the strategic fencing in place; and you have to have aviation assets that fly all the way from Tijuana to El Paso to Brownsville, Texas -- 1,933 miles looking down 24/7, with the technology to be able to identify what individuals are doing, and ID when they are in obviously illegal activities or suspicious activities, and quick response teams come.” (August 2015, Fox News Debate)

“Last summer I looked in the President’s eye when he came to Dallas Texas and I said ‘Mr. President, if you don’t secure the border, Texas Will’ and that’s exactly what we did…and because of that effort we saw a 74% decrease in the number of apprehensions…you can secure the border, but it takes boots on the ground.” (August 2015, Voters First Forum)