“I will work every day to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your lives as I can.”
Rick Perry said it today as he announced he’s a Republican candidate for President of the United States. He said it a year ago at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. Making his point with humor, but also sincerity (like Reagan did) Perry expressed what so much of us want: a world where we can live free and be free of constant governmental intrusion.
But he said a lot more today and he said it optimistically, forcefully and specifically.
After introducing himself – he grew up in Paint Creek, Texas, son of a WWII veteran who had flown countless missions in the war, he was an Eagle Scout and married his first girlfriend; they have two children and Perry has served three terms as governor of Texas – Perry went on to discuss what America faces today.
He decries “Washington’s insatiable appetite for money.” We have, under Obama, an “aimless foreign policy. Debt is a threat to our security. We cannot afford four more years of this rudderless leadership.” It doesn’t feel like the recession is over, he says. “Recovery is a meaningless word if the bank has foreclosed on your home, if you are under water on your mortgage or up to the max ax on your credit card debt.”
By contrast, Perry says Texas has the strongest economy in the nation. “Since June of 2009, Texas has been responsible for 40% of all new jobs in America, while we’re only 10% of the population in America.” How did this happen? “I am the first governor since World War II to cut general revenue spending in our state budget.” Perry cites he has reduced property taxes and the legislature has instituted loser pay laws to cut lawsuits.
“I have four guiding principles,” Perry said, that outline what this country needs to do:
“1. Don’t spend all the money
2. Keep the taxes low and under control.
3. Make the regulatory climate fair and predictable
4. Reform the legal system so that frivolous lawsuits don’t impair employers who are trying to create jobs.”
Will his campaign strike the right note with voters?
He was clear. He enumerated his plan simply and with specifics. He tapped the optimism that has always defined Americans by saying “Our best days are not behind us. It’s time for America to believe again.”
Perry promised to “immediately repeal” Obamacare and “get America working again.”
The speech had a poetic touch, too, that was appealing. “The change we seek will never emanate out of Washington, D.C. It will come from the wind swept prairies of middle America; the farms and the factories across this great land; from the hearts and the minds of the good hearted Americans who will accept not a future that is less than our past. Patriots who will not be consigned to a fate of less freedom in exchange for more government.
“We o not have to accept our current circumstances. We will change them. We are Americans. That’s what we do. We roll up our sleeves, we go to work. We fix things.”
There wasn’t a teleprompter in sight.