AUSTIN (AP) Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday that his new book is filled with so many attacks on Washington and the federal government that there's no way he'll be able to run for president in 2012.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press hours before Perry won a third, full term as governor, Perry described a book that is loaded with hot-button zingers on everything from Social Security to race relations.
I think probably the best display, the best concrete evidence that I'm really not running for president is this book, because when you read this book, you're going to see me talking about issues that for someone running for public office, it's kind of been the third rail if you will, Perry told the AP. But these are issues that really need to be talked about.
The book, called Fed Up: Our Fight to Save America from Washington, goes on sale Nov. 15. He drew criticism from his Democratic opponent Bill White for beginning a series of national media tours to promote the book as the state faces a budget shortfall of up to $20 billion.
Perry has been an oft-mentioned name in the run-up to the 2012 presidential race, and prospective candidates often write books before launching presidential bids. But Perry again said Tuesday he has no interest in leaving Texas for the city he often slams.
I am not interested in going to Washington, D.C., as president, vice president or in anybody's cabinet, Perry said.
In the book, Perry calls Social Security a failure and compares it to an illegal Ponzi scheme.
They are fraudulent systems designed to take in a lot of money at the front and pay out none in the end. This unsustainable fiscal insanity is the true legacy of Social Security and the New Deal, Perry writes in the book. Excerpts of that passage leaked out on the internet on Monday, and it drew huge boos from White supporters on the final campaign day.
In the interview, Perry chalked up the criticisms to the same old Democratic attacks.
I do advocate totally rethinking the safety net, personal security programs, completely, Perry said. Why is the government collecting your tax money for retirement and health care programs?
Perry also criticizes the modern implementation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, saying that Texas and other, mostly southern states should no longer have to get pre-clearance from federal authorities to make significant changes affecting voting. That part of the act is known as Section 5.
I think Section 5 is past its usefulness, Perry said. I think it costs states huge amounts of money and frankly is way past its usefulness.