- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2015

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry continued his feud with businessman Donald Trump on Monday, writing that being president of the United States is “serious business, not a reality TV show.”

“This is especially true for the next president, who will have a big job ahead after the failures of the Obama administration,” Mr. Perry wrote in a piece for National Review. “Our challenges are too complex — and the future of our country too important — to let egos, inflated rhetoric, and emotion take the place of thoughtful discussion.”

Mr. Perry, who like Mr. Trump is vying for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said he’s been making the case for GOP policies and being honest about the party’s shortcomings in engaging all Americans.

“But we can’t do that if we’re pitting black against white against brown; rich against poor; women against men. Playing identity politics takes a page right out of the Democrats’ playbook, and we Republicans are better than that,” Mr. Perry wrote.

“That’s why rhetoric such as the kind employed by Donald Trump is damaging — it’s damaging to our party, and most important, damaging to the United States of America. I believe strongly that Mr. Trump’s philosophy is not conservatism, but rather a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense,” Mr. Perry wrote.

He said Mr. Trump’s “absurdity reached a new low” over the weekend when he “spit in the eye of every American prisoner of war, particularly Senator John McCain.”

“But frankly, we should expect no better from a man who couldn’t be bothered to answer the call to serve his nation when it needed him most,” Mr. Perry wrote of Mr. Trump, the host of NBC’s “The Apprentice” who received student deferments and a medical deferment for a bone spur in his foot during Vietnam.

Mr. Trump told reporters over the weekend the deferments put him in the same camp as “millions” of other people.

“I was not a big fan of the Vietnam War,” Mr. Trump said. “I wasn’t a protestor, but the Vietnam War was a disaster for our country.”

Mr. Perry, who served in the U.S. Air Force, wrote that as a veteran and the son of a veteran, “I find Mr. Trump’s brand of vitriol particularly offensive, and I have no confidence that he could adeptly lead our nation’s armed forces. His comments over the weekend should completely and immediately disqualify him from seeking our nation’s highest office.”

Mr. Perry also said Mr. Trump’s “ridiculous and irresponsible assertion” that Texas has not done enough on the U.S.-Mexico border “betrays his fundamental misunderstanding of the issue,” saying border security is a federal responsibility but that “we stepped in when the federal government failed.”

Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Mr. Trump, said such attacks were coming because of Mr. Trump’s favorable position in the polls.

“Rick Perry, the same thing with Marco Rubio — they jump on it; why?” Mr. Cohen said Monday on CNN’s “New Day.” “Because they see Donald Trump trending higher and higher and higher and this race is running away from them. And they’re concerned about it. That’s exactly why they’re doing what they’re doing — they’re jumping onto a wrong bandwagon.”

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