Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry came out in favor of President Barack Obama’s secret trade deal on Thursday, joining just three of his fellow Republicans in the 2016 hunt—most of the rest are either deathly silent or adamantly opposed—Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“Through Gov. Perry’s leadership, Texas has been the largest exporting state in the country for the past 13 years in a row,” Perry spokesman Travis Considine said in emailed statement. “Gov. Perry has always supported free trade and its positive impact on economic growth and job creation. He believes America can achieve robust economic growth and job creation, similar to what has occurred in Texas, with trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership.”
In response, Americans for Limited Government president Rick Manning—one of the biggest public opponents of the deal—told Breitbart News that Perry’s support for Obama on this is “unfortunate.”
“It’s unfortunate that Gov. Perry is relying on President Obama to present a good free trade deal,” Manning said. “The TPP is less of a trade deal and more of a regulatory one designed to help friends of Obama increase their market share. I would hope that Gov. Perry would read Sen. Jeff Sessions’ critical alert so he can be informed about what’s in the Trans Pacific Partnership.”
There is widespread bipartisan concern with the deal, as many Democrats join several Republicans in expressing either opposition or worry with it. One of the most vocal has been Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who as Manning said issued a “critical alert” earlier this week raising serious concerns with several parts of the deal. On the Democrat side, Sen. Liz Warren (D-MA) and several other populist Democrats have been wreaking havoc on the deal’s chances as well—leaving Obama deal supporters like Senate Majority Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner worried about whether they’ll have the votes to pass it next week.
The Senate is expected to take up the deal early next week, and the House would follow, if the Senate does end up passing it. Opposition to the deal in the House is expected to be stronger than in the Senate, so if it does make it through that first hurdle, the deal’s chances are not much better when it gets to the House.
As Breitbart News has reported, polling over the past decade plus shows that Americans are widely opposed across party lines to trade deals like this one—so Republican leaders, with the help of pollster Frank Luntz, literally cooked up a way to use phony poll-tested talking points to try to sell Americans the lousy package with nice-sounding words.
Perry, Cruz, Rubio, and Bush are the only members of the 2016 GOP presidential field who support the deal, and several other Republican candidates for president—or likely candidates—have come out against it. Those against it include Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee—who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008’s GOP primary—real estate magnate Donald Trump and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker hasn’t said anything either way yet, nor have Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dr. Ben Carson, or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.