Covering Gov. Rick Perry's Wednesday morning speech to Liberty University students, Washington Post's Philip Rucker painted the Texas Republican as "anti-intellectual" for what amounts to a self-deprecating jokes about his grades in college:
LYNCHBURG, Va. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered himself here Wednesday as a decidedly anti-intellectual candidate, making light of flunking out of some of his classes at Texas A&M University, and instead casting his life and presidential aspirations in deeply spiritual terms.
Perry spoke of growing up with modest means in Paint Creek, Tex., of struggling academically in school and, in his late 20s, after he returned home from the Air Force, finding God.
As a student at Texas A&M, Perry said, it was “my heart’s content” to be a veterinarian. He worked for a vet every summer and took advanced science classes. But the dean of the veterinary school dashed his dreams.
“He said, ‘Son, I’m looking at your transcript. You want to be an animal science major,’” Perry joked. (Indeed, Perry’s transcript shows he received an “F” in organic chemistry, a “D” in veterinary anatomy and a “C" in animal breeding.”)
“Four semesters of organic chemistry made a pilot out of me,” Perry joked.
As he prepared for Wednesday’s visit, Perry said, “I got my Webster’s out and I just looked up the word ‘convocation’ to make sure I knew what I was walking into here.”
The title of the online article is "Perry casts himself as anti-intellectual, says his life shaped by faith." It remains to be seen if the Post's print edition softens the headline tomorrow to one that's much less loaded.
UPDATE (10:36 EDT, Sept. 15): Rucker's article made the front page of today's Post with the headline, "Perry says faith shapes his life." "GOP presidential hopeful casts himself as spiritual," added the subhead.
UPDATE/Clarification (11:49 EDT, Sept. 15): Today's front-page article by Rucker is not the same as yesterday's online story. Rucker shifted his focus today from Perry joking about his poor grades to a focus on Perry's discussion of his evangelical Christian faith in yesterday's address to Liberty students.