Gov. Rick Perry at his presidential campaign kickoff on June 4, 2015.
Gov. Rick Perry at his presidential campaign kickoff on June 4, 2015. Credit: Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

What do former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Hillary Clinton have in common? Perhaps their economic messages.

At least that was the assessment of one aide to the Democratic presidential nominee after Perry launched his unsuccessful run for the Republican Party’s nomination in June of 2015, according to an email included in a cache of thousands of campaign messages released by Wikileaks over the past week.

“I wanted to flag Rick Perry’s announcement speech. Admittedly, he reminds us throughout the speech that he is extremely conservative,” said the email, sent from the account of Tony Carrk, Clinton’s research director a day after Perry delivered the speech at North Texas’ Addison Airport. “However, I was struck by his talk on the economy. Similar messages & themes.”

The email – addressed to more than a dozen Clinton aides including campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook – included the full text of Perry’s speech and highlighted thirteen paragraphs. Among those highlights:

  • “It is time to create real jobs, to raise wages, to create opportunity for all. To give every citizen a stake in this country. To restore hope, real hope to forgotten Americans, millions of middle class families who have given up hope of getting ahead, millions of workers who have given up hope of finding a job.”
  • “Debt is not just a fiscal nightmare, it is a moral failure. Let me speak to the millennial generation: massive debt, passed on from our generation to yours, is a breaking of the social compact.”
  • “For small businesses on Main Street struggling to just get by, smothered by regulations, targeted by Dodd-Frank: I hear you, you’re not forgotten. Your time is coming.”
  • “Capitalism is not corporatism. It is not a guarantee of reward without risk. It is not about Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.”

A Clinton campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Clinton’s campaign has not disputed the authenticity of the leaked campaign emails, according to news reports.

Perry’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination this cycle – his second consecutive run – was short-lived. With low polling numbers and a bare-bones staff, he pulled out of the race in September, three months after his kickoff speech.

In May, Perry endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Excerpt from Clinton campaign email

Jim Malewitz

Jim Malewitz primarily covers energy and the environment for the Tribune. Before arriving in 2013, he covered those issues for Stateline, a nonprofit news service in Washington, D.C.