"It's fun to poke at him a little bit."
Rick Perry, explaining his recent comments about President Obama's birth certificate
"I like 'fun,' too."
Rick Horowitz, sitting down to write his latest column
Just so you know, I don't have a definitive answer about whether Rick Perry is a sexual predator.
I'm not saying he is a sexual predator -- I'm just saying I can't be sure one way or the other. That's for other folks to decide.
For one thing, I haven't seen Rick Perry's rap sheet, so even if he's got "sexual predator" written there in big red letters, I haven't seen it. Or his records may even be sealed by now, so nobody can see them -- I understand they do that sometimes, if it happened a while ago, for instance, or if it would be too embarrassing for all the facts to be made public. So there'd be no way of saying for sure.
I'm kidding! I don't have a clue about Rick Perry being a sexual predator. It's just a good issue to keep alive -- you know, to have out there. But it's a distractive issue, which is why I'd hardly have anything to say about it except for the media being so interested in Rick Perry's criminal record all the time.
I'd rather be talking about jobs -- and anyway, if Rick Perry says he's never been a sexual predator, or never been convicted of being a sexual predator, I have no reason to think otherwise. I'm perfectly willing to take him at his word -- at least until the evidence is out there to contradict him.
But that hasn't happened yet -- who knows if it'll ever happen? -- so we have to take his denials at face value. If he doesn't want to open up his records, that's his decision. If he doesn't want to put the whole sexual predator thing to rest once and for all -- look, that's just one of the things the voters will have to weigh.
Just kidding! Everyone needs to lighten up! What voters are focused on is jobs, and nothing but jobs, which is why I keep talking about jobs every chance I get. Whatever some guy may have done in his private life, I don't think the voters are particularly interested in that. Rick Perry's the governor of Texas. He's elected. That other stuff doesn't matter -- however disgusting it might have been.
Personally, I don't have a criminal rap sheet, so it's an easy one for me to be completely open about. Maybe Rick Perry feels differently about it -- you'd have to ask him. You're good reporters -- why don't you go ask him?
That's a joke! I know you're not reporters! Jeez, can't a fella inject a little levity into the conversation once in a while without everybody getting so hot and bothered and serious?
You want to know what's serious? Here's what's serious: jobs. Everybody's looking for jobs, from the factory worker to the guy on the rig to the detectives who used to work in the sex-crimes units in some of our biggest states, like Texas. Maybe Rick Perry will tell us how those people are supposed to feed their families -- or how they're supposed to deal with sexual predators running loose in our communities.
But if he says that's not his concern -- hey, who am I to say any different? Rick Perry will have to answer for himself.
And the rest of you need to get a sense of humor!
# # #
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.