NEW ORLEANS — Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Republican activists on Friday that conservative principles are what makes governing a state successful, contrasting Texas with the free-spending ways of California.
“I go to California on a pretty regular basis, and I promise you the governor of California today is tired of seeing my mug in California, because Arnold [Schwarzenegger] knows I’m coming out there to recruit businesses to bring back to the state of Texas,” Perry said in a speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
Perry laid out the principles of governing that make for a successful state: a tax structure that’s fair and predictable, an accountable public school system, a legal system that curtails frivolous lawsuits, and fiscal responsibility.
He said a governor or state legislature should seek to curb skyrocketing taxes, create an environment favorable to trial lawyers, and not let public schools “run hither,” then quipping, “I shouldn’t talk about California that way on a regular basis.”
“But you ought to be called out when those things happen,” Perry added.
Perry held up Texas as an opposing example, saying it is the “apex of the states when it comes to the economy.” He said Texas, for the eighth consecutive year, is the No. 1 exporting state and has created more jobs in the past decade than any other state in the country. He also advocated a U.S. constitutional amendment that would require a balanced budget.
Perry said that on a national level, Republican governing needs to be about doing three things well: a strong military, securing the borders, and delivering the mail on time.
“[Republicans] got frustrated because we elected men and women who said, ‘Elect us, and we’re going to go to Washington, D.C., with an ‘R’ behind our names,’” Perry said. “They went to Washington, D.C., and we…couldn’t tell the difference between whether they were Republicans or Democrats.”
Perry was one of three governors or former governors in the spotlight Friday at the SRLC in a speaker’s lineup that also featured Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.