Rick Perry vs. Mitt Romney: Great Political Rivalries

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With the Republican presidential contest growing testier by the day, here’s a look at the most quarrelsome relationships in politics.

With the Republican presidential contest growing testier by the day, here’s a look at the most quarrelsome relationships in politics.

REPUBLICAN Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Forget Ronald Reagan’s famous commandment against GOP family feuds. The disagreement between these two has been more than political since the pair fought over whether the Boy Scouts could be included in the Olympic Games run by Romney in 2002. When Romney grabbed Perry’s arm during a debate shouting match in October, he guaranteed there would be no quick détente.

political-rivals-reagan-bush Diana Walker / Time Life Pictures-Getty Images (left); Bettmann-Corbis

Although the sunny Gipper and stiff Bush joined forces as an odd couple in 1980, Bush derided Reagan’s supply-side platform as “voodoo economics.” Reagan repaid Bush’s snipe by abstaining from endorsing him in the 1988 Republican primary.


In 1980 the beleaguered Carter faced an unprecedented challenge from his fellow Democrat. Though he held Kennedy off, the president lost the election—and his cool. Even after Kennedy’s death, the low-key Georgian has kept criticizing the senator.

political-rivals-cheney-rice Win McNamee / Getty Images (left); Mike Clarke / AFP-Getty Images

After their years together in the West Wing, the headstrong veep alleged in his memoir this year that Rice had “tearfully” apologized for suggesting President Bush say “sorry” for intelligence failures. Rice accused Cheney of lying, calling him a meddler in her own book.

political-rivals-jackson-obama Stephen Hilger / Bloomberg-Getty Images (left); Jim Watson / AFP-Getty Images

Sour grapes? In 2008 the first major black presidential candidate was caught on a hot mike accusing the soon-to-be first black president of talking down to African-Americans, adding, “I want to cut his nuts off.” Jackson quickly apologized.

clinton Ethan Miller / Getty Images (left); Paul J. Richards / AFP-Getty Images

Clinton expected her husband’s former confidant would endorse her in 2008. But when Richardson threw his weight behind Barack Obama instead, she was furious. Clinton staffers leaked that Richardson had earlier told her Obama was “too inexperienced.”

political-rivals-lautenberg-christie Chris Kleponis / Bloomberg-Getty Images (left); Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images

Sure, they’re in different parties, but can’t two Jersey boys get along? Nope. Senator Lautenberg, smarting from Christie’s decision to kill a rail project, called the governor a “jerk.” Christie’s reply: “All he knows how to do is blow hot air.”

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