Rick Perry said mean things about a friend (who just happened to be a democrat running for office against him)
At A&M, Perry and Sharp were an unlikely pair: Sharp had earned a reputation as a bright, focused student leader, and Perry as a fun-loving, if academically unmotivated, campus butterfly.A rather subtle way of saying Perry is not so smart, but oh, so ambitious. It's a common claim against a Republican candidate. How can anyone be so stupid as to oppose the obviously beneficial policies of the Democrats?
But Sharp saw the reality of their respective positions early. “Rick was very popular,” he remembers. “People . . . were attracted to him. He was funny. He told good stories. He just had that . . . quality. The yell leaders were the most popular guys on campus.”
Sharp viewed Perry’s rah-rah charm as deceptive. It masked, he thought, his friend’s discipline and intense drive, a relentless focus in going after whatever he wanted and exerting his will over those standing in his path.
Once, Perry made an unexpected appearance at the end of a Sharp event to add his thoughts about state fiscal matters — it was as though, thought Sharp allies, Perry wanted to ensure he would not be eclipsed by his buddy. Sharp says that, although others occasionally remind him of that day, the moment remains foggy at best for him — an indication, he adds, of how little importance he attached to it at the time, as well as how unthinkable the idea was of a looming battle with Perry.Ah, there it is, Perry clearly showing his jealousy of his obviously much more intelligent and capable, and yet less charismatic friend.
And then, they actually start to campaign against each other, and Perry actually talks mean! I'm sure that Sharp never said anything cross about his old friend Perry in the privacy of his office. If so, the WAPO reporter failed to find or report it.
“Did you see what that turd said today?” Perry remarked, after Sharp released another statement trumpeting ways to boost government efficiency. “Do you see those revenue projections from the turd? Complete crap.”But all's well that ends well, I suppose.
According to the pair of former advisers, “The Turd” became the rival’s new moniker, with Perry increasingly resentful about the attention the Texas media lavished on Sharp. “It’s not a term I’ve heard,” said Perry presidential campaign spokesman Mark Miner, who added that the chief importance of the Perry-Sharp duel was simply that Perry “won that race.”
On Election Day, Perry prevailed by less than 2 percent of the vote. Afterward, the winner privately reflected with Arnold and others on his team about the lasting meaning of the contest. The man who as a college student wouldn’t tolerate an imperious upperclassman messing with his life vowed to reassert control over his future, regardless of who stood in his way. Never again, he told his aides, did he want an outsider interfering with his campaigns.
In the meantime, the freeze between Perry and Sharp lasted eight years. Then they saw each other by chance at a Texas gun store. Caught by surprise, they talked briefly about policy and politics. A friendship was revived. Recently, Perry played a major role in Sharp’s selection as the chancellor of Texas A&M.