CBS Looks at ‘Cost’ and ‘Tragedy’ of Rick Perry’s Refusal to Raise Taxes, Skips Anti-ObamaCare Ruling

Friday night’s CBS Evening News examined Rick Perry’s record in Texas, citing his claims his policies led to job creation but then pivoting to how “Perry's bedrock pledge to never raise taxes also had a reckoning this year.”

Reporter Wyatt Andrews relayed liberal claims that “with taxes not an option, the state cut deeply into health care and so deeply into education, some 49,000 teachers are being laid off.” He prompted a teacher: “Do you see a Texas miracle?” She retorted, “No, I see a Texas tragedy” as Andrews related that she “calls her layoff the cost of low taxes.”

(For the 49,000 number, CBS’s on-screen graphic credited the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-wing advocacy group.)

Online, the CBS Evening News page on CBSNews.com plugged video of the Andrews story by stressing the negative:

The cost of Rick Perry’s success in Texas.

While CBS made time for Perry’s detractors, the network’s evening newscast didn’t utter a word about a major setback for ObamaCare, a federal appeals court ruling which earned short items Friday night on ABC’s World News and the NBC Nightly News. The Washington Post’s summary of the relevance of the ruling:

A federal appeals court Friday struck down a central provision of the 2010 health-care law, ruling that Congress overstepped its authority by requiring virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance.

The divided three-judge panel from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta is the first appellate court to rule against any portion of the statute. The decision marks a significant victory for the 26 Republican attorneys general and governors who challenged the health-care law on behalf of their states.

From the Friday, August 12 CBS Evening News:

SCOTT PELLEY: Rick Perry, joining the race tomorrow, is the longest-serving Governor in the nation. He won re-election last year by a wide margin. He's 61 years old, married to his childhood sweetheart and graduated from Texas A&M. Perry is going to have a big effect on this race, so we asked Wyatt Andrews to look at his record on the Texas economy.

WYATT ANDREWS: It's his most important accomplishment, and one Texas-sized claim.

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: Texas continues to lead the nation in job creation.

ANDREWS: Some call this the Texas miracle, but with Rick Perry as Governor, the state has added hundreds of thousands more jobs than any state by far and in a country desperate for jobs, this issue -- and Perry's claim that he deserves the credit -- sets him apart.

ANDREWS TO JEFF BROWN: So you're hiring?

JEFF BROWN, EA VIDEO GAMES: We're hiring. We can't hire people fast enough.

ANDREWS: Jeff Brown, of California-based EA video games, says the company is adding 300 jobs in Austin, Texas, partly because of low cost but also because of Perry's three trips to persuade EA to move.

BROWN: They've come to us specifically in the company and said, you know, “what do you need, tell us what you need?” and for the most part they followed through on it.

ANDREWS: Perry calls his formula simple.

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: This isn't, you know, rocket science. You keep the taxes relatively low, you have a regulatory climate that is fair.

ANDREWS: But Perry also got lucky when high oil prices boosted energy-related jobs, and his critics point to another figure. Texas' high unemployment rate, at 8.2 percent, is one point below the national rate daunting President Obama. Perry's bedrock pledge to never raise taxes also had a reckoning this year when his budget faced a $27 billion shortfall. With taxes not an option, the state cut deeply into health care and so deeply into education, some 49,000 teachers are being laid off.

ANDREWS TO RACHEL ZERTUCHE: Do you see a Texas miracle?

RACHEL ZERTUCHE: No. I see a Texas tragedy.

ANDREWS: Rachel Zertuche, a veteran middle school teacher, calls her layoff the cost of low taxes.

ZERTUCHE: Realize that your child will be in a classroom that will have a larger number of students. Your child will have less individual time with their teachers. So, you know, everything comes at a price.

ANDREWS: Perry now enters this race as both a Tea Party and evangelical conservative. A man so religious he once asked Texans to play for three days for rain. So, Scott, he needs to push and to sell this jobs issue to appeal to voters in the middle.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center