Enthusiasm over a possible Perry candidacy has thus far clouded one inconvenient truth: While the governor is currently the model of a Tea Party politician, his past includes plenty to give Tea Partiers and social conservatives pause if and when they decide to take a closer look.
That fact was highlighted last Thursday, when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee took a very pointed shot at Perry. "For all his new found commitment to hyper-conservatism," said the former GOP presidential candidate, "he'll get to explain why he supported pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage Rudy Guiliani last time."
Perry's support for Giuliani - whose moderation on social issues alienated social conservatives and contributed to his dramatic flameout in the 2008 presidential race - isn't his only potentially problematic endorsement. He doesn't much like to talk about it these days, but Perry was actually a Democrat until 1989; the year before he converted to the GOP, he served as Texas chairman for then-presidential candidate (and current target of conservative disdain) Al Gore. MORE>>>>