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AUSTIN (CBS Houston) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry claims in a new commercial that he is the “commander in chief of 20,000 troops.”
The commercial entitled “Champion” runs for about a minute and uses inspiring music and imagery to sell Rick Perry’s candidacy, even including someone “Tebowing” in the ad. The commercial also states that he created one million jobs in Texas and “managed the 13th largest global economy.”
Although 20,000 troops sounds like a sizable military, it’s actually comparable to the troop strengths of countries like Burundi (20,000 troops), Georgia (21,150 troops), and Switzerland (22,059 troops).
The National Guard is often called up to active deployment by the federal government. Col. Bill Meehan, a Texas National Guard spokesman, says that “right now, a little over 1,000 are on (federal) active deployment. We typically get a two-year look on deployment so we can plan ahead.”
The troops are deployed for about a year and are sent back home. The Texas National Guard is expected to deploy 1,400 troops overseas this year.
Meehan says Perry does utilize the Texas National Guard.
“The governor does call us to state active duty to support a crisis or disaster such as hurricane relief or flooding. We were even deployed to support the space shuttle recovery when it broke up a few years ago.”
Meehan added, “In a state like Texas, we can be moved from one side of the state to another around 500 to 800 miles at a time.”
Perry was once considered a front-runner of the GOP nomination, but after a series of gaffes and mishaps, his campaign is considered to be floundering. At the recent New Hampshire primaries, he received just one percent of the vote.
CBS Houston reached out to the Perry campaign for comment.