The Washington Times - August 17, 2011, 11:39AM

The outspoken leader of a popular tea party group says Texas Gov. Rick Perry has skeletons in his closet that could hurt his chances of winning support from the grass roots movement and securing the Republican presidential nomination.

Writing Wednesday on the Tea Party Nation website, Judson Phillips argues that Mr. Perry has has been “soft” on immigration, citing his support of in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigration and his refusal to adopt something similar to the controversial law Arizona passed last year. 


In terms of immigration policy, he predicts a Perry presidency  wouldn’t look much different from what has come out of the Obama White House.

Mr. Phillips says the three-term Texas governor also had it wrong in 2007 when he signed an executive order mandating that young girls get vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.

“Parents were given the option to opt their child out, but Perry’s order smacked of the worst form of big brother,” Mr. Phillips writes, adding that the story gets worse when it was later learned that the three-term Texas governor’s chief of staff was a lobbyist for the manufacturer of the vaccine. 

Finally, he criticizes Mr. Perry’s pursuit of the Trans-Texas Corridor, a discontinued plan for 4,000 miles of cross-state tollways, passenger and freight rail lines, and utilities, which opponents argued hinged in part on taking millions of acres of private land from rural farmers.

“Perry has several major obstacles to overcome if he is ever going to get tea party support,” he says.