Rick Perry: Current political focus on the gender pay gap is "nonsense"

Perry said bridging the gender wage gap is not among the "substantive issues" the state must address

Published March 25, 2014 2:34PM (EDT)

Rick Perry                                    (Reuters/Jaime Carrero)
Rick Perry (Reuters/Jaime Carrero)

In an interview Tuesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the current political focus on equal pay "nonsense."

“Why do we need to muddle up our statutes when we already have laws on books that clearly take care of this?” said Perry on equal pay laws.

But Texas does not have laws on the books "that clearly take care of this;" he vetoed the Texas Fair Pay Act and his state's attorney general (and Republican gubernatorial candidate) Greg Abbott fought the implementation of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, meaning that any gains at the federal level are largely out of reach for women in Texas.

As Wayne Slater at the Dallas Morning News reports, Wendy Davis has been hammering Abbott and Texas Republicans for a shameful record on equal pay laws, which Perry thinks in "nonsense."

“If they want to talk about substantive issues in this governor’s race, then let’s talk about tax policy and regulatory policy," he said. "But to go focus on this issue, a piece of legislation that we already have laws that protect, is nonsense.”

Women in Texas currently make, on average, 80 cents on the dollar. Perry and Abbott likely know this (because Davis won't let them forget it).

The problem is they don't seem to care. That's going to be an issue for Abbott come November, and it's certainly going to be an issue for Perry in his all but inevitable 2016 run.

And just for some laughs, here's Perry on his disastrous 2012 run: "I did not prepare well enough to run for president of the United States.”


By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Gender Gender Pay Gap Gender Wage Gap Greg Abbott Pay Discrimination Rick Perry Sexism Texas Wendy Davis