After Texas governor and U.S. presidential candidate Rick Perry criticized the Obama administration for sending $500 million of aid to the country Solynda, disturbing new details about his attitudes toward ethnic Solyndans have emerged.
Speaking at a campaign event in Iowa on Sunday, Perry said that he was in favor of cutting all “subsidies or however you refer to them” to Solynda. Within an hour of that statement, two former Perrry campaign staffers spoke off the record with The Awl to strongly condemn Perry’s take on the strategic importance of Solynda to the United States.
“Cutting aide to Solynda is not about good public policy, or smart foreign policy,” said one of those former staffers: “Rick Perry just hates Solyndans and always has.”
The former staffer cited as evidence a statement Perry purportedly made at a fundraising dinner last year: “He was talking to a donor who was saying some pretty nasty stuff about Solyndans and I remember Rick nodding and agreeing—and then saying, ‘We should just go in and burn all their filthy tent cities down and just be done with them.’ He was giggling! I was shocked.”
A second former staffer pointed out that no Solyndan-Americans have ever served in the Perry administration in the 11 years since Rick Perry became governor of Texas.
A source close to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Clinton spent much of Sunday evening making a series of emergency phone calls to Solyndan officials, including Solyndan prime minister Makmesh Seechka, to reiterate the Obama adminstration’s commitment to Solynda.
“Governor Perry has set U.S.-Solynda relations back 50 years,” said that source. “They don’t know that he’s unelectable, but they do know that he’s governor of one of the biggest states in our nation and that his policy pronouncements are closely followed by the conservative political establishment.”
Clinton reportedly assured Seechka that the U.S. has no intention of recalling its ambassador to Solynda, or putting Solyndan-Americans in internment camps, two rumors that emerged on Al-Solynda, the government-run television network.
The Perry camp has not yet responded to The Awl’s repeated requests for comment.
Former Justin Beiber bureau chief for The Awl Simon Dumenco now reports from Solynda.