DES MOINES, Iowa (CBSDFW.COM) – Now that Texas Governor Rick Perry is running for president, voters in Iowa are starting to zero in on his record. The governor is not only being criticized by Democrats, but by some conservatives too.
In Iowa Monday, Perry touted his conservative record as a job creator and tax cutter. But during the Jan Mickelson talk show on WHO-AM in Des Moines, one caller named Linda put Perry on the defensive.READ MORE: Possible Meteor Seen In Skies Over North Texas Sunday Night
AUDIO – Perry On Jam Mickelson Show (Courtesy WHO-AM)
She challenged perry about his past executive order requiring girls to have the Gardasil vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. “Governor, you mandated that vaccine three days after Merck Pharmaceuticals, which invented the vaccine, gave you a large campaign contribution,” she asked Perry on air.
In response, Perry told Linda, “I’m one of the first to say we didn’t approach this issue right at all. Shouldn’t have done it with an executive order at all. Should have worked with the legislature.”
Perry went onto say, “My effort was to kill cancer. That particular issue is one that I readily stand-up and say I made a mistake on.”
The Texas Legislature ultimately undid the vaccine mandate.
Katrina Pierson, a member of the Tea Party in Garland, credits perry for admitting his mistake. “It was wrong, he knows it was wrong, so the best thing to do is admit it and move on.”READ MORE: Residents Battle Summer Heat As DFW Sees 100 Degrees Sunday
But pierson says Perry isn’t conservative enough for her. “I would say he’s better than some, but definitely wouldn’t call him a conservative to the political standards that conservatism is today.”
She and others say they’re also troubled by Perry’s failed proposal to use eminent domain to build the Trans-Texas Corridor toll road between San Antonio and Dallas. Perry explained that his goal at the time was trying to reduce traffic and congestion on Interstate 35.
During the past legislative session in Austin, Governor Perry proposed a bill that would protect property owners from eminent domain. The legislature passed the bill, and Perry signed it into law.
In addition, Pierson and others say Perry hasn’t done enough to fight illegal immigration. This year, Perry proposed a bill outlawing sanctuary cities. It would have required law enforcement officers to refer suspects who they believed were in the U.S. illegally, to federal authorities. The bill failed.
Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Wade Emmert insists perry has a strong conservative record. “Perry has a very solid pro-life record. He’s got a very solid business record, very aggressive tort reform in Texas.”
Emmert says he believes Perry is the best campaigner in the Republican field, and has now become the front-runner. But Emmert won’t endorse Perry or any other candidate until the party has a nominee.MORE NEWS: Man Fatally Shot While Meeting To Fight Suspect At Park In Arlington, Police Say
As for Katrina Pierson, she says for now she prefers Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. But Pierson says she’ll definitely vote for Perry if he becomes the nominee.