Rick Perry Is Mighty Proud of His Inflammatory Rhetoric

Perry rails against "cocktail circuit" Republicans who would shush him

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Time slapped Rick Perry on its cover this week, lining the Texas governor up for a swaggering interview in which he rails against "cocktail circuit" Republicans who "would find some of my rhetoric to be inflammatory" and defends his quickly growing inventory of remarks he acknowledges push the envelope. In Perry's world, a little tough talk (like musing about beating up Ben Bernanke?) is nothing to be ashamed of: "American citizens are just tired of this political correctness and politicians who are tiptoeing around important issues." Backing up his Social Security equals Ponzi scheme one-liner, Perry digs in his heels:

I'm comfortable that the rhetoric I have used was both descriptive and spot on. Calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme has been used for years. I don't think people should be surprised that terminology would be used. No one gets confused about the point I was making, that we have a system that is now broken...

If you want to call it a Ponzi scheme, if you want to say it's a criminal enterprise, if you just want to say it's broken -they all get to the same point. We need, as a country, to have an adult conversation.

It's not clear if he charmed his interviewers, Richard Stengel and Mark Halperin, but he definitely won over Time's photographer, Platon, who had a rather intimate moment with the Lone Star state governor:

“I want your soul,” he told Perry. “Give it to me.”

Ever the politician, Perry pushed back: “Well, you can’t have that.”

Platon responded, “You don’t realize it. But I’ve already got it.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.