CPAC STL: Rick Perry on Washington

(Photo / Lance LeGrand)

(Photo / Lance LeGrand)

Gov. Rick Perry fired up the crowd at CPAC St. Louis, taking the stage to “God Blessed Texas” blaring on the speakers. He wasted no time in criticizing Washington and lauding the benefits of Texas.

“After $17 trillion dollars in debt, part-time Congress is not a joke,” said Perry. Hailing from a state in which the legislature meets for 140 days every other year, his comments are based on the idea that a part-time legislature has fewer opportunities to waste money.

Perry plays to the strengths of his home state, primarily jobs and a strong economy. By contrast, “The culture in Washington is broken,” he said.

He also derided Obama’s indecisiveness on Syria and foreign policy. “It is not too late for America to lead the world.”

“Get out of the healthcare business, get out of the education business, stop hammering industry,” was the advice he gave to government officials. It echoes the talking points of his likely successor, current Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

In a press conference immediately after his speech, Perry attempted to walk back comments a few days ago, in which he called Cruz’s Defund strategy “nonsensical.”

“I was asked if I thought defunding Obamacare makes sense. I don’t think anybody thinks shutting down the government is a good option,” he said. However, he blamed Obama for refusing to negotiate with Republicans, and concluded, “I think they ought to defund Obamacare, because it’s not going to work… The American people will defund Obamacare.”

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