Perry talks like Bush; Could win like Reagan
Perry, the straight-talking three-term governor, is bringing to the race a message and biography that couldn’t contrast any more starkly with President Obama’s.
He grew up in rural Paint Creek, Texas, farming cotton in his early years, and attending the state’s land-grant university, Texas A&M.; Obama went to Harvard Law School, earned his political chops in Chicago, spending much of his early career in academia. Perry has governed a low-tax, low-regulation state at a time when the president has sought to expand government’s role in the economy. The Texas governor’s blunt advocacy of conservatism and faith-tinged rhetoric couldn’t be any different from Obama’s nuanced rhetoric and cautious governing style.
And he’s going to be bragging about his record of job creation in Texas, compared to the economic stagnation that’s been prevalent nationwide.
The money line from his kickoff speech: “I’ll work every day to try to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can.” Those 18 words will define Perry’s candidacy, and is a pitch-perfect appeal to a Republican primary and caucus electorate angry at Obama’s policies and a November electorate disenchanted about the lack of jobs and economic growth. If he becomes the nominee, it would also set up an epic general election with two divergent visions of the appropriate role for government in American life.
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