Why did Texas Governor Rick Perry back Al Gore for president in 1988?
Well, to begin with Perry was a Democrat in 1988. He didn't join the Republican Party till later.
You got that right: In 1988 while Ronald Reagan was president, Rick Perry was a Democrat,
But Perry tells people that when he was for Gore this "was Al Gore before he invented the Internet and got to be Mr. Global Warming.”
Not quite true. In fact, when he attempted to get the Democrat nomination in 1988 Gore was already off and running on the global warming crusade.
Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1984. And in '88 Rick Perry chaired the Gore campaign in Texas.
Then, in '89 Perry switched parties and became a Republican.
One has to wonder: Would Rick Perry be a Republican today if Al Gore had actually captured the Democratic nomination in 1988 and gone on to win the presidency?
We can only guess . . .
BTW: Perry received no huge mandate from Texas voters in the 2006 gubernatorial election but bested his standing in 2010. In the 2006 election he garnered only 39% of the total vote in a multi-candidate field. Perry became only the third governor in state history to have been elected by a plurality of less than 40 percent of votes cast. In 2010 he got 55% of the vote (not exactly a landslide in Republican-dominated Texas) and that came only after a tough primary challenge from within his own party.
During a Republican gubernatorial debate in January 2010, when asked if he would commit to serving out his term if re-elected, he replied that "the place hasn't been made yet" where he would rather serve than the governor of Texas. In December 2010 (about eight months ago) when asked if he was a "definite maybe" to run for President in 2012, he replied, "a definite no, brother".
But all that has changed now.