In the late afternoon, Governor Rick Perry of Texas spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Perry is most well-known for his campaign-ending gaffe last year during the presidential race. Even today, his speaking at times seemed forced and unsure.
That being said, a strong case can be made for Perry’s competency. Texas seems like a “foreign country” to some, according to the governor. Even though the Texas legislature only meets for 140 days every other year, the state has the highest job creation and a balanced budget.
“My quarrel is not with the legitimate role of government, but with the unlimited role of government,” Perry argued. Investments in many areas are vital to our society, but when the state intrudes into every aspect of our daily lives, it “turns the Constitution on its head.”
There has also been a significant controversy with Texas turning down Medicaid expansion funds from the federal government. Although some think it’s “free money,” Perry claimed the restrictions, problems, and consequences that would result from the law’s implementation are worrisome. Instead, “we need a Medicaid program that emphasizes personal responsibility.”
It may be easy for the federal government to embrace a program without guaranteed funding, but Perry does not want to take the risk with his state: “Washington doesn’t worry about how to pay bills. … But in Texas, our Constitution requires a balanced budget.” In addition, job creation is the key to growth. Perry argued that we need to embrace the vast resources of energy available in Texas.
In order to appeal to Hispanic voters, Perry argued that conservatives need to stand for opportunity and free enterprise. We should be the people who say, “Everyone deserves a shot.”