GREENVILLE, S.C.— Rick Perry is learning all kinds of ways that words can come back to haunt a guy.
There’s his famous “Ponzi scheme” remark about Social Security, which Mitt Romney has used to bludgeon the Texas governor.
And now Perry’s in hot water in North Carolina for a remark he made back in 1992, when he was Texas agriculture commissioner and Houston was hosting the Republican National Convention.
Last week, in the Raleigh News & Observer’s “Under the Dome” politics blog, staffers wrote: “According to ‘Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue,’ in 1992 when Perry was a promising Texas politician but not yet governor, he tried some Eastern North Carolina barbecue from King’s of Kinston, which was served at the Republican National Convention in Houston. ‘I’ve had roadkill that tasted better than that,’ Perry was quoted as saying.”
Reaction was surprisingly swift, given the quote was 19 years old. “People across North Carolina are outraged over a presidential candidate’s comments on ENC (Eastern North Carolina) barbecue,” said a story on the website of WCTI-TV.
Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q, a North Carolina chain, immediately sent Perry 2 pounds of its barbecue, one pound of slaw and a pint of house hot sauce.
WCTI tracked down the proprietor of the restaurant whose ‘cue Perry dissed all those years ago. Wilbur King of King’s restaurant in Kinston, N.C., told the station that Perry had clearly made the comment in jest.
But King wasn’t willing to let the would-be presidential nominee off the hook. “I do have one problem with his statement,” King said. “He has admitted to eating roadkill, and knowing what it tastes like. How can this person possibly judge any food?”