Bush-Perry Rivalry Runs Deep

Stems from a long-ago slight in Texas politics
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2011 5:04 PM CDT
George W Bush-Rick Perry Rivalry Runs Deep
In this Jan. 18, 1999, file photo Texas Gov. George W. Bush, left, answers a question as Lt. Gov.-elect Rick Perry, right, listens during a news conference in Houston.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Rick Perry took over George W. Bush's job as Texas governor, and he'd sure like to grab Bush's old gig in the Oval Office, but don't expect Dubya to leap up to help put him there. Seems there's long-running tension—if not an outright feud—between the two that dates back to 1995, when Bush dissed Perry's plea to appoint Perry's brother-in-law to a state appellate court bench. "It created some friction between the two and Karl (Rove) got blamed," a former Perry aide tells the AP.

And though both men publicly deny any rift, Bush surrogates Rove and Dick Cheney have recently taken shots at Perry, calling his book "toxic" and bashing his denunciation of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. And the Bush camp solidly backed Kay Bailey Hutchison in her failed move to unseat Perry last year. All of which isn't entirely to Perry's disadvantage: While the patrician Bush catered to establishment conservatives, the blue-collar Perry is banking that ticked-off Tea Partiers will carry him to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And with Bush's dismal popularity upon leaving office, Perry is "going to run away from that image as fast as he can," says a Texas Tea Party activist. The two do have one thing in common, however: They were both college cheerleaders. Click through the photo gallery for a look at Bush and Perry through the years. (More George W. Bush stories.)

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