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Rick Perry Is a Dues-Paying, Card-Carrying Union Member

Notwithstanding his policies as governor of Texas.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads a press conference with other health and hospital officials about the state's ongoing response to the Ebola virus at the UT Southwestern Medical Center's Pickens Biomedical Education and Conference Center October 21, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads a press conference with other health and hospital officials about the state's ongoing response to the Ebola virus at the UT Southwestern Medical Center's Pickens Biomedical Education and Conference Center October 21, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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."