On Jan. 9, at an event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation—not exactly a liberal stalwart—Texas Governor Rick Perry, appearing with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, made an unusual declaration. "I belong to the AFL-CIO," he said.
According to PolitiFact Texas, a fact-checking partnership project between the Austin American-Statesman and the Tampa Bay Times’s PolitiFact.com, Perry was making a suggestion that Republicans try to seduce voters with traditional liberal records, like union members. Speaking to former Senator Phil Gramm, a Republican of Texas and a mentor of the governor's, Perry said, "Not only did I used to be a Democrat, Senator, I belong to the AFL-CIO. Got the card in my pocket, and they probably hate it that I pay my dues every quarter."