What the World Makes of Rick Perry
The international media is talking about his religion, his jobs record, his controversies
Ever wonder what our nation looks like to folks from afar? Here we look at how a uniquely American story--the kind of news we have trouble explaining even to ourselves--is being told overseas. Want to see a particular topic covered here? Let us know.
Rick Perry doesn't seem to be Obama's, Bernanke's, or, actually Karl Rove's favorite person right now. His contributions to the 2012 presidential race have so far included calling Bernanke treasonous, telling Obama to mind his own business, and declaring he's not so keen on the whole "evolution" thing. In other words: he's made a splash. How's it playing in the international media? We'd say the piece in Spain's El País is probably the most dynamic (and negative) depiction, but it's also just fascinating to see what aspects of the Texan governor the various papers focus on.
Germany: "U.S. candidate Rick Perry sees climate change as manipulation"
"He could be a compromise between the moderate Romney and the right's icon Bachmann," writes Steffen Richter for Die Zeit, another German daily. That said, Richter also calls him an "archconservative," noting that "his policy distinguishes itself only negligibly from Michele Bachmann's." Carsten Luther elsewhere observes for Die Zeit that Perry "knows how to use his religion. ... The support of the Christian right has already once placed a governor from Texas in the office of the presidency," he says, speaking of Perry's prayer meeting, and "If Perry loses, then it will certainly not be because he is too religious."
France: Enter "the 'cowboy' from Texas"
"From an egotistically political point of view, Rick Perry, governor of Texas, could follow the downgrading story of American debt with delight," writes Sylvain Cypel in Le Monde, noting that such perceived failures for Obama help Republican candidates.
Initially a Democrat, Rick Perry became a radical conservative: pragmatic on certain subjects important to local businesses, he is also linked to Christian fundamentalists. ... Each of the ot her candidates is considered as potentially 'divisive,' susceptible for various reasons to being rejected by part of the Republican camp. He alone is 'capable of uniting all the conservatives, he will change the course' in obtaining support without reticence and the party machine and its powerful populist right, according to his Iowan counterpart [i.e. the governor], Terry Branstad.
Then, taking advantage of the rise of the Tea Party, Perry was reborn. His popularity was then at a minimum. ... He was defined as a devout Christian, as opposed to abortion, conservative in principle, not known for his political decisions. He even accused Bush of being too liberal on issues like government spending. And glared at his opponent.
Israel: Was the Bernanke criticism anti-Semitic?
American Jewish leaders are expressing concern over declarations by Republican presidential candidates that emphasize the candidates' Christian faith and their devotion to religious values. Jewish leaders firmly reject suggestions, however, that an attack by candidate Rick Perry, the Texas governor, on Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke during a campaign speech in Iowa earlier this week was anti-Semitic in nature. Bernanke is Jewish.
In Arabic-language media: Jobs, religion, and apparently he's got American Jewish leaders worried
Heather Horn is fluent in written German and French, and proficient in written Arabic. All other languages are muddled through with the help of Google Translate.