Following the release of a campaign video Thursday morning, former Texas governor Rick Perry took the stage at a rally in Dallas, Texas to announce his entry into a Republican field already congested with candidates, and declare that he is running for President of the United States — again.
In his video, he vowed to provide “leadership that transcends the petty partisanship that we’ve seen in the last few years,” which is to say, in the years since Perry’s troubled and failed run at the Oval Office in 2012.
During that campaign Perry memorably flubbed in the middle of a live television debate when he forgot which federal agency he intended to cut and got the numbers “three” and “five” confused. In an interview with CNN last year, he described the campaign as “a very humbling experience.”
But his story neither begins nor ends with that memorable “oops” moment. Here are five other things every voter should know about Rick Perry.
1. He wanted to decriminalize marijuana. So he said.
In January 2014, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Perry spoke at a panel on the “drugs dilemma,” and expressed a desire for individual states to have the flexibility to determine their own marijuana laws.
After 40 years of the war on drugs, I can’t change what happened in the past. What I can do as the governor of the second largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keeps people from going to prison and destroying their lives, and that’s what we’ve done over the last decade.
Despite his voiced wish to see marijuana decriminalized and alternatives to incarceration for low-level drug arrests introduced, Perry didn’t do much to that effect during the decade and a half that he was governor of Texas.
2. He started wearing glasses after his disastrous presidential campaign in 2012.
The “oops” moment heard around the world didn’t do Perry’s image any favor. The people generally want their president to be able to count to three.
Not wishing to appear unscholarly, he began wearing his now-familiar black intellectual-ish-looking frames shortly after he ended his campaign. “He bought glasses,” noted the Texas Observer, “and fashioned himself into the kind of man who wears glasses confidently.”
All eyes will be on Perry’s to see if they work this time around.