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Rick Perry: A primer on the presidential candidate

A Rick Perry reader: DC Decoder offers a sampling of the best profiles of the Texas governor turned 2012 GOP presidential candidate.

By DCDecoder / August 16, 2011

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, steps off his campaign bus as he visits the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday. (AP Photo/)

Charles Dharapak/AP

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Meet Rick Perry.

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DC Decoder gets you up to speed with this short reading guide, some highlights of Perry profiles, including Perry's undergraduate days at Texas A&M and his record as the longest serving head of the Lone Star state.

1. For the quickest of primers, see The Christian Science Monitor’s “11 Questions about Rick Perry and his White House bid.” This should give you a general lay of the land, situating Perry in the context of his own life and the Republican nomination process.

2. To get a sense of Perry before he was in the political spotlight, check out Texas Tribune’s “Texas A&M Years Launched Perry — And a Rivalry.” Perry, one of A&M’s famous “yell leaders,” was both a prolific college prankster and a shrewd political operator.

3. For a rapid backgrounder on Perry’s political career, the Houston Chronicle has this slideshow of each of Perry’s races for public office since 1984. Over that 27 year span, Perry has never lost an election.

Governor of Texas

1. Perry’s record as governor of Texas comes down to one word: Jobs.

What Perry argues: two out of every five jobs created in the United States since 2009 have come from Texas, proving the value of a low regulation, low taxation environment.

The counterpoint? This, from the Austin-American Statesman:

Most people know of Texas’ reputation for creating jobs — the cornerstone of Perry’s pitch that limited government, less regulation and low taxes are the tonic for what ails the nation. Yet almost half of the state’s job growth the past two years was led by education, health care and government, the sectors of the economy that will now take a hit as federal stimulus money runs out and the Legislature’s eight percent cut in state spending translates into thousands of layoffs among state workers and teachers in the coming weeks.

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