Gauntlet thrown. Rick Perry spoke out against his 2016 election competitor Donald Trump on Wednesday, July 22, harshly dissing his fellow Republican politician in a campaign address.
The former Governor of Texas, 65, weighed in on Trump, 69, as he continues to make headlines for his controversial statements on everyone from Mexican immigrants to Sen. John McCain.
"He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued," Perry told the crowd at Washington, D.C.'s Willard Hotel, Politico reports. "Let no one be mistaken: Donald Trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded."
A polarizing personality in the race to the White House, Trump is angering many at the same time that he continues to impress at the polls. The Apprentice star had his first major controversy in June, when he said many immigrants from Mexico are "rapists" and are "bringing drugs" and "crime."
Just last week, Trump caused fury when he brushed off McCain's five years as a prisoner of war and said that the Vietnam vet is "not a war hero." Perry acknowledged the comments, sniping that Trump "couldn’t have endured for five minutes what John McCain endured for five-and-a-half years."
"Donald Trump, the reality television star, is a great generator of ratings. But Donald Trump the candidate is a sower of division, wrongly demonizing Mexican-Americans for political sport," Perry added. "He has piqued the interest of some Republican voters who have legitimate concerns about a porous border and broken immigration system. But instead of offering those voters leadership or solutions, he has offered fear and sound bites. This cannot stand."
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