Perry Watch: The Governor Responds to “Ni****Rock” Controversy

Governor Rick Perry’s campaign is blasting a Washington Post report that claims the GOP presidential candidate and his family maintained hunting grounds with a racially offensive name.

(KPRC Local 2 is owned by The Washington Post Company)

The newspaper reported the word “Niggerhead” was the site’s official name and the racist epithet was painted on a rock at the entrance to the property near Perry’s hometown of Paint Creek.

At least one of Governor Perry’s political rivals, Hermann Cain, made it an issue Sunday.

The Perry campaign released the statement below:

AUSTIN – Perry Campaign Communications Director Ray Sullivan today released the following statement regarding Herman Cain’s comments this morning on Fox News Sunday:

“Mr. Cain is wrong about the Perry family’s quick action to eliminate the word on the rock, but is right the word written by others long ago is insensitive and offensive. That is why the Perrys took quick action to cover and obscure it.”

The Post story acknowledges the rock had been painted and turned over. The Perrys did not own, name or control the property, they simply rented hunting rights to 1,000 acres of the ranch.

As Gov. Perry told the Washington Post, “The old name has its origins from another time and era when unfortunately, offensive language was used to name some land formations around the country. When my dad joined the lease in 1983, he soon painted over the offensive word. It is my understanding that the rock was also turned over to further obscure what was originally written on it.”

Rick Perry has a long and strong record of inclusiveness and appointing African Americans to key state posts, including Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, his former chief of staff and general counsels, university regents, parks and wildlife commissioner and other high profile posts.

As the governor also told the Post, “I judge folks by their character and ethics. As governor, I represent a big, fast-growing and diverse state. My appointments and actions represent the whole state, including our growing diversity, such as appointment of the first African-American Supreme Court Justice – whom I later appointed Chief Justice – and the first Latina Secretary of State.”

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