Rick Perry Appointed to National Security Council, Continues to Benefit From the 'Cancer on Conservatism'

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Merry Perry. - PBS NEWS HOUR
  • PBS News Hour
  • Merry Perry.
In the early months of Donald Trump's rise in the Republican Primary, Texas' longest serving governor was unflinching in his criticism. Rick Perry was one of the first and loudest within his own party to decry Trump's brand of politics, famously calling him "a cancer on conservatism" that "must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded."

It was a surprisingly coherent, fresh followup to Perry's first crack at the White House, when he oops-ed his way out of the race by forgetting the name of which federal agency he'd sworn to eliminate as president. (Spoiler: It's the one he now runs.)

We all know what happened next. Trump got the GOP nomination, Perry got Dancing With the Stars. And being the canny politician that he is, Guv Goodhair eventually saw the value in hitching his horse to the "cancer on conservatism," openly embracing and stumping for Trump in the later months of his campaign.

And wow did it help get Perry out of that mostly embarrassing, post-governor slump. Not only was he appointed to run the U.S. Department of Energy, on Wednesday, a new memo out of the White House revealed Perry has also now been named to the National Security Council.

As Bloomberg first reported, Perry's appointment to the NSC came amid a shakeup that boots former Breitbart director and Trump-whisperer Steve Bannon from the council. Anonymous White House staffers downplayed the controversial role Bannon has played on the council, telling the Washington Post he's just too busy to stay on the NSC and hardly went to meetings anyway.

Whatever rocketed Perry to the powerful post, it's another reminder he's an adept politician who sure knows how to recover from a series of embarrassing public performances.


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