I think we just got a preview of what we can expect from Texas Gov. "Good-Hair" Rick Perry if he decides to enter the GOP presidential primary, which he'll be doing soon if this speech at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans is any indication.
Perry gave what could be described as a barn burner of a speech with all of the typical Republican, Ayn Rand, freedom-loving, history revisionist talking points that of course the audience there just loved. As Rachel Maddow reported this week, unfortunately for Perry, when reality comes up against his lofty rhetoric, they don't seem to square so well with each other to put it mildly.
What's obvious to me after watching Perry and some of the other speakers at the event is that Republicans, after wrecking the economy and after enacting their extreme right wing agenda in states with Republican governors across the country, plan on making the economy front and center in their campaign rhetoric, facts and public opinion be damned.
Partial rough transcript of Perry's speech below the fold, and if there's any doubt that Republicans are dying for this guy to get into the presidential race this year, listen to the chants by the crowd at the end yelling "Run, Rick run!" and "Perry 2012!" And question for anyone here, is it just me, or does this guy give anyone else nightmares from sounding like a George W. Bush clone on steroids?
PERRY: Our party cannot be all things to all people. It can't be. And our loudest opponents on the left are never going to like us, so let's quit trying to curry favor with them. Let's stand up. Let's speak with pride about our morals and our values and redouble our elect more conservative Republicans. Let's stop this American downward spiral!
We're going this. And it's happening because of too much spending, too much interfering and too much apologizing.
You know, in my mind there's always been two kinds of politicians; those who seek office to gain personal power and those who seek office to give power back to the people. In state Houses across this country and in the United States Congress, conservative politicians, conservative leaders are working to return the power to the people; turning back the tide of this unchecked spending and unbridled interference in state affairs.
You know, let me share something that's not a secret, but I'm tellin' ya', they will never willingly give up an ounce of power in Washington D.C. until the American people stand up and demand that we adopt reform! Never will they do that!
This administration may get up and mouth words about job creation, but they clearly consider enterprise a dirty word. And they think the fruits of our labor needs to be... spread around. Or, the word I like to use from their core ideology, be redistributed.
You know in November of 2008, there were too many Americans who voted for some vague promises about hope and change and they ended up with unprecedented deficits, unrestrained spending and unacceptable unemployment. Americans voted for hope and got nothing but greater economic misery.
In November 2010, Americans expressed their frustration with that misery and they voted for conservative Republicans. In the United States Congress and state Houses all across this country we have seen Republican leaders turning the tide. November 2012 is not very far away.
But we've got to be ready to elect Republican leaders up and down that ballot who will make government smaller so that opportunity can get bigger. I'm preaching to the choir here. I understand that, but America's greatness is not found in the size of its government. America's greatness is resides in the hearts and the minds of our people; their innovative approaches to solving problems and their ability to endure, even in the toughest of times.
If we want to stimulate the economy, we don't need more government spending. We need to unleash the private sector in America, the individual citizens who put their hours in at the job, who pay their taxes; they're doing their best to take care of their families.
The good news is, we've got the wind at our back right now. As Americans are waking up to the realities of their previous choice, they're settin' things right with their votes.
The challenges facing state leaders as we pursue these balanced budgets across the country we share with you, they're going to pale in comparison to what we're going to see in 2014, when that runaway train known as Obama-care hits our budgets.
If the Congress or the courts don't derail Obama-care, state budgets will crumble under the massive financial burden. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives is startin' to slow that train down but we need to keep sending them reinforcements to bring that effort to a clear conclusion.
Together... together we must keep America moving back to preeminence because our values and conservative ideas are the world's greatest hope. Like you I still believe America is special!
I see a stronger America, built on the solid foundation of spiritual strength, of individual liberty, of self-determination. We must recapture that vision and begin the hard work of lighting the way for millions of Americans who are adrift in this sea of economic misery.
Let's lead 'em to the safe harbor of American renewal and the shores of American exceptionalism! Let's anchor them! Anchor them in the future of good jobs and a country founded on great ideas. Restore the notion of a government of the people, for the people, by the people!
If we don't do it, who will? If not now, when? There is no greater goal, no more crucial time than right now to take and make our stand to restore our economy, our families, our country! And I happen to know that we can! And I know that you will! God bless you and thank you all for being out here today! And god bless the United States of America!