One on One with Rick Perry - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/31/02

One on One with Rick Perry

Negative political ads have dominated the governor's race this year. In August, Tony Sanchez told NewsChannel 11 his ads were based solely on Governor Rick Perry's record, but Perry defends his record and says the people of Texas know the truth.

Do you have any regrets about the way you chose to campaign?

"Mr. Sanchez is the one that started in early May attacking my credibiltiy, the programs I've supported in the state, attacking the school teachers and the children of the state of Texas and saying we're failing them," says Governor Perry.

The ongoing fight between Governor Rick Perry and Democratic challenger Tony Sanchez is almost over, but Perry says in the end, his 18 year political streak will lead him to victory.

"Well, the bottom line is that I've been here and done this before," says Perry.

NewsChannel 11 asked Perry the obvious question first: why should voters elect him as governor? He says simply his record, on education and healthcare, speaks for itself.

"The Texas Grant Program that has allowed for 100,000 young Texans now to have access to a college education. The Children's Health Insurance Program, where we have tens of thousands of young Texans in West Texas who otherwise would not have access to healthcare," he says.

Blame has been pointed directly at the govenor for allowing insurance rates in Texas to skyrocket. Regardless of how it got that way, we asked the govenor why he chose not to call a special session to address the insurance problem.

"Democrat and Republican legislators alike say there's no need to call a special session now, until we have all the information compiled and we can fix this. So the obvious and correct place to fix this is in January -- do it right, do it long term, do it for the state of Texas in the appropriate manner," says Governor Perry.

As of Wednesday, the Scripps Howard Texas Poll shows Perry leading Sanchez by 15%. Incidentally, this same poll in June showed Perry leading by 20%. NewsChannel 11 asked the governor about the projected $5 billion state deficit next year. Governor Perry says his years of experience balancing the state budget will be a plus.

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