A self-proclaimed "fiscal conservative," Texas Gov. Rick Perry has billed Texas taxpayers for over $1 million in the last months of 2011 for travel costs (lodging, food and security) during his out-of-state presidential campaign trips.
Gov. Perry has defended his enormous campaign costs by claiming to be “promoting Texas” as he travels around the country running for president.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has spent more on Perry’s travels from Sept. to Dec. of 2011 than it did during all the other months of 2011 combined, according to financial disclosures published by The Texas Tribune.
In total, Gov. Perry spent over $1.4 million for security, travel, dining and lodging during that time, all on the taxpayers’ dime. Nearly $400,000 of that was for security alone.
Gov. Perry has made a practice of criticizing government workers and the poor for what he calls "living off taxpayer largess."
Cenk Uygur, host of Current TV’s 'The Young Turks,' explained the numbers on Monday night (video below): “When you break down the security costs, get a load of this, on one California trip, they spent $32,000 for lodging in San Francisco, $4,400 dining in Simi Valley, and plane tickets to San Diego cost $6,400."
"Okay, the plane tickets, maybe they got out of hand. Maybe it was last second. But what are they eating? How many people are there? $4,400 in one meal? Jesus, lord, mercy, how much food can you eat?”