Last week, Perry studied income inequality and economic mobility with experts Scott Winship, Erin Currier and Aparna Mathur. In the Post interview, he was asked about the growing gap between rich and poor in Texas, which has had strong job growth over the past decade but also has lagged in services for the underprivileged. "Biblically, the poor are always going to be with us in some form or fashion," he said.
Perry acknowledged that the richest Texans have experienced the greatest amount of earnings growth, but dismissed the notion that income inequality is a problem in the state, saying, "We don't grapple with that here."
"Running for the presidency's not an IQ test," he said. "It is a test of an individual's resolve. It's a test of an individual's philosophy. It's a test of an individual's life experiences. And I think Americans are really ready for a leader that will give them a great hope about the future."
"I agree that what happened to John McCain was abhorrent. It is inhumane. And the United States Government should never ever condone that type of activity. America has a record, going all the way back to George Washington when George Washington said that those British soldiers need to be treated with respect."
"But in the fog a war, you think back to 2001, and George W. Bush standing on that pile a rubble after he had talked to mothers and fathers and wives, loved ones of Americans who'd been killed by these soulless terrorist -- you think back to Abraham Lincoln, suspending habeas corpus -- you know, in retrospect, you know, sometimes decisions made in the fog a war, we can criticize 'em, some years later.
"But I think more importantly here is that the message that America is not going to be-- like ISIS and cut the throat of innocent children-- that we're not going to-- commit heinous acts, is clearly a message that Americans want to hear.... I respect [John McCain] for standing up and saying America will not be involved in torture. 'No one in this country will ever do to any combatant what they did to me.' And I totally agree with that."
"One of the most important things, though, that we need to do as a country, is that when the leader of the United States says, 'Here's a red line,' that that's what it means. Words matter. And hollow words hurt us as a country. They hurt us as an ally. And the words that come out of the president of the United States need to mean something."