When Texas Governor Rick Perry joined the race to the White House in August, he was considered in place to be Mitt Romney's chief rival. A few weeks into the race, however, and after a few too many gaffes in the televised debates, the charming governor's ratings dropped considerably.

Perry has expressed himself to be a staunch supporter of Israel, but comments such as "Obviously Israel is a special ally, and my guess is we would be funding them at a high level… but everyone should come in at zero" have left some wondering about his actual position.

What is clear, however, is that he has come out numerous times against President Barack Obama's own policy with regard to the Middle East and has declared repeatedly that the U.S. must stand by Israel in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat.
 

Birthday

March 4, 1950

State

Texas

Current position

47th Governor of Texas.

Chances of winning the nomination

Despite a drop in his showing in the polls, there is still a chance he could make a comeback, particularly with Herman Cain's decision to 'suspend' his campaign.

Quotes:

On Israel

"Israel is our oldest and strongest democratic ally in the Middle East and has been for more than 60 years. The Obama policy of moral equivalency, which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a dangerous insult.

There is no middle ground between our allies and those who seek their destruction. America should not be ambivalent between the terrorist tactics of Hamas and the security tactics of the legitimate and free state of Israel. By proposing ‘indirect talks” through the U.S. rather than between Palestinian leaders and Israel, this administration encouraged the Palestinians to shun direct talks".

On the Palestinian UN bid

"With the end-run on Palestinian statehood imminent before the UN, America must act swiftly. First, every nation within the UN must know America stands with Israel and the Oslo accord principle of direct negotiations without equivocation. Second, America must make it clear that a declaration of Palestinian statehood in violation of the spirit of the Oslo accords could jeopardize our funding of UN operations.

Third, the Palestinians must know their gambit comes with consequences in particular that America will have to reconsider the $4 billion in assistance we have provided to the Palestinians over the last 17 years. Fourth, we should close the PLO office in Washington if the UN grants the standing of a Palestinian state."

On Obama's policy toward Iran
"Today, the greatest threat to the security of Israel and, by extension, a threat to America, is the Iranian government developing a nuclear arsenal.

To date, we have fumbled our greatest opportunity for regime change. As average Iranian citizens were marching on Tehran in the Green Revolution in 2009, America was wasting precious time on a naïve policy of outreach to both the Iranian and Syrian governments.

Who knows what the leadership of Iran would look like today if America had done everything in its power to provide diplomatic and moral support to encourage the growing movement of dissidents who sought freedom."

On the possibility of an Israeli strike against Iran

"Obviously, we are going to support Israel. And I've said that we will support Israel in every way that we can, whether it's diplomatic, whether it's economic sanctions, whether it's overt or covert operations, up to and including military action."

"We cannot afford to allow that madman in Iran to get his hands on a nuclear weapon period". (November 2011, CNN Interview)

On the Middle East peace process

"We are indignant that certain Middle Eastern leaders have discarded the principle of direct negotiations between the sovereign nation of Israel and the Palestinian leadership, and we are equally indignant that the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy of appeasement has encouraged such an ominous act of bad faith.

Simply put, we would not be here today at the precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn’t naïve, arrogant, misguided and dangerous".