Four-term Texas Gov. Rick Perry took to the podium on day one of the New Hampshire Republican Party’s “First in the Nation” leadership summit to a solid round of applause and began by discussing veterans and invoking Lincoln, before segueing to attack Obama over foreign policy.
The speech was far-ranging, perhaps a bit too much so, in that it began on foreign policy, transitioned to domestic issues, then went back to foreign policy. Perry seemed much more in his element during the brief Q and A afterwards.
When asked a question on illegal immigration, Perry quickly seized on his experience as governor, pointing out that he deployed his state’s National Guard. Perry insisted he doesn’t buy the notion that the border can’t be sealed, adding that there can be no genuine action on immigration in Washington until it is sealed. Perry insisted it’s about assets and people and the appropriate application of both.
As for his initial remarks, Perry transitioned to Hillary Clinton from his opening, calling her the “architect” of today’s failed foreign policy. Perry claims that the American people came to understand the failings of both Obama and Clinton before last November, which led to the GOP capturing the majority in both houses of Congress. “A congressional majority is a terrible thing to waste,” added Perry.
Ideologically speaking, “The conservative movement must be the agent of reform,” he says. He went on to strike a populist tone, in essence criticizing Washington for favoring big banks at the expense of small businesses and unemployed Americans. “Let’s just spend more money,” is always Washington’s answer to the middle class, said Perry, before going on to bemoan big government, while pointing out that Washington is now one of the richest places in America.
Calling for new leadership, Perry claimed America is only “a few good decisions away” from the best days the country has ever seen. He then called for a reworking of the tax code to lower corporate tax rate. Perry also criticized Obamacare as a job killer, saying it encourages employers to go from full-time to part-time employees. He then called for its repeal. Later in his remarks Perry insisted that Obamacare has the potential to literally destroy the country both economically and in terms of healthcare. He cited his work in Texas on tort reform and how it led to hundreds of more doctors practicing in Texas.
Perry also took on Common Core as another symptom of big government interfering with issues best left to the states, education in this case.
Finally, when asked what would set any 2016 effort apart from his failed effort in 2012, Perry cited preparation. He says he’s spent 3 years preparing to talk policy, adding that the next president needs, not only knowledge, but deep experience as an executive. He noted the space shuttle explosion, Ebola and Katrina as issues that impacted Texas, as well as other states, that allowed him to hone his executive experience in dealing with challenges, unforeseen and otherwise.