Texas Gov. Rick Perry, seemingly gearing up for a presidential run, delivered an electrifying speech Saturday in New Orleans at the Republican Leadership Conference.
He urged the crowd to stand up for conservative principles and not apologize for their conservative convictions.
He said that the “liberty that has inspired our nation,” which has been the essence of the American dream, is “being constricted daily by new regulations and obligations” and that “we live in a strange inverted version of our founding fathers’ visions” of the country.
In what may be his greatest strength as a candidate, Perry spoke heavily Texas’s record while he has been governor.
“I gotta brag a bit about Texas’ conservative values,” Perry said.
He said Texas was first in exports and had a balanced budget to boot.
He said conservatives in Texas were “happy warriors” and fought for conservative values and said it saddened him when Republicans “duck and cover from pressure from the left.”
According to Perry, Texas succeeded because it didn’t spend all t he money it took in, it kept taxes low, it didn’t burden businesses with regulations, and didn’t paralyze them by allowing frivolous lawsuits to become rampant.
He cited the “loser pay” lawsuit reform and voter ID (all voters would be required to present photo ID in order to vote) bills he got through in a special legislative session. In addition, other significant accomplishments included mandating women see a sonogram of their unborn child before having an abortion and a piece of legislation dealing with eminent domain in addition to being staunchly opposed to an Internet tax.
Texas has been cited as doing things right economically and being the last state to be pulled into the recession and the first state to start crawling out of it. It has been lauded for creating the conditions for businesses to flourish unlike more burdensome and liberal states such as California.
He has been a champion of the 10th amendment and has rhetorically assailed Washington.
And in a sign he is more than serious about a potential campaign, Perry told the audience to text “Forward” to a number in order to build his list of cell phone numbers. In previous days, he had been telling audience to text “Leadership” to the same number.
Were he to run, Perry will have to convince voters that his resemblance to George W. Bush would not hurt him. His critics also point out that Perry may be inauthentic in having accepted stimulus funds.
His state’s strong economic record and record of job creation in addition to his hearty embrace of social issues and values that those voting in early states often use as a litmus test to determine if candidates are “one of them” will surely help his cause in addition to a team of operatives and strategists the Gingrich campaign essentially, in hindsight, had on loan who would presumably join any presidential campaign the Texan would launch.
Perry said there are two type of politicians — “those who seek office to gain personal power and those who seek office to give power back to the people.”
Were he to launch a presidential campaign, Perry would obviously run as the latter.