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Two Texans Weighing White House Bids Applaud Supreme Court Ruling

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Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz at an April 2014 news conference at Fort Hood addressing a deadly gunfire incident

The offices of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Rick Perry were quick to release statements lauding Monday’s Supreme Court decision on contraception. The ruling said family-owned and other closely held companies can opt out of an Affordable Care Act provision requiring they provide insurance coverage of birth control.

Sen. Cruz calls it a “victory for religious liberty” and a “repudiation of the Obama Administration.” Gov. Perry says the ruling is “further proof” that “Obamacare represents one of the greatest governmental overreaches in our nation’s history.”  

“They wanted to get statements out there as soon as possible because it goes in favor of what they’ve been saying all along: repeal Obamacare," says St. Edward’s University political science professor Brian Smith, who also says it was another part of Monday’s statement from Gov. Perry that might give him more trouble.

The governor says, “the government cannot mandate that anyone operate in a fashion counter to their most deeply-felt principles.” In 2007, Governor Perry called for mandatory vaccines against Human Papillomavirus, which can lead to cancer. In 2011, when he was running for president, he said that had been a mistake.

“He’s going to try to spin it as, 'I’m evolving as a candidate,'" says Smith, "but his opponents are going to say, 'You know what? It was an issue you were for and you definitely flip-flopped on it.'”

Smith says successfully making that argument can be the difference between success and failure for a political campaign. He points to Barack Obama's changing position on same-sex marriage.

"During the campaign in 2008 he said, 'I see marriage as one man, one woman,' and he's definitely evolved since then on that issue, Smith says. "Hillary Clinton is going to try the same thing on the issue."  

Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.
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