Texas Gov. Rick Perry may be a better general election candidate against Obama than current polls indicate, but he must first must get to that match-up.
In blue collar Western Pennsylvania, Perry delivered an energy speech that highlighted the first phase of a series of policies he will unveil that will try to cast himself as the candidate best suited to revive America’s economy.
“Creating jobs in America is as simple as changing presidents,” Perry said. “America needs jobs. America needs energy. America needs a “made in America” energy revolution.”
Perry said his plan, “Energizing American Jobs and Security,” would create 1.2 million new jobs.
“My plan is based on this simple premise: Make what Americans buy, buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world,” Perry said.
Perry’s plan had four major parts that he said would “create jobs in every sector, revitalize manufacturing, and contain the cost of electricity.”
First, we will open several American oil and gas fields for exploration that are currently off limits because of political considerations. The current administration has restricted exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and the mid-Atlantic. …
It is equally important that we take a second step: eliminate activist regulations already on the books and under consideration by the Obama Administration. …
The third part of my plan is to reform the bureaucracy, in particular the EPA, so that it focuses on regional and cross-state issues, providing scientific research, as well as environmental analysis and cost-comparison studies to support state environmental organizations. We will return greater regulatory authority to the states to manage air and water quality rather than imposing one-size-fits-all federal rules. …
The fourth component of my plan is to level the competitive playing field among all energy producers.
Perry said that he does not “not accept the false choice that we must pick between energy and the environment” and “it is time for a balanced, pro-American, pro-jobs energy policy.”
Perry’s campaign theme has been, “Let’s get America working again.” In linking energy policy directly to the creation of new jobs, Perry is highlighting his two great policy strengths — his jobs creation record in Texas and Texas’ role in energy production — that would allow him to be a more than formidable challenger against Obama in a general election.
To get to that point, though, Perry needs to get his campaign working again. He’s hoping that his policy rollout will do exactly that, as the nearly 70 percent of voters who can be described as “anti-Romney” are restless and perhaps looking to solidify around a single candidate.
Perry’s full energy plan can be read here.