Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) likes to talk tough about his small government credentials, but the numbers he’s been racking up lately tell a different tale: according to The Houston Chronicle, the arch conservative’s out-of-state security detail has cost Texas taxpayers a whopping $2.6 million since he was reelected in 2010.
All that money has gone to pay for Perry’s security details as he tours the country trying to poach jobs from other states, and from his ill-fated bid for the Republican nomination to the presidency, according to data released by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS).
The Chronicle noted that the bulk of Perry’s travel security costs, a full $1.8 million, went to his TXDPS detail during the presidential run. Accounting for his food, lodging and other travel-related costs, NBC News reported last May that Perry’s campaign travel cost Texas taxpayers some $3.6 million in total — nearly twice as much as Perry’s predecessor, George W. Bush, spent on travel during his presidential campaign.
“Gov. Perry is the governor of Texas 24/7 regardless of where he goes, and the Texas Department of Public Safety has a policy of providing security for governors and their families everywhere they travel, as they have back several administrations,” a Perry spokesperson told the Chronicle. “It’s unfortunate that we live in a day and age where security is an issue, but we have the upmost [sic] respect and appreciation for the officers who provide security for the Governor, the First Lady and other state officials.”
The statement is almost word-for-word what a Perry spokesperson told NBC News in May 2012.
[“Stock photo: Texas Gov. Rick Perry,” by Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com.]