Perry wows at Republican conference amid 2012 buzz
June 18th, 2011
05:32 PM ET
6 years ago

Perry wows at Republican conference amid 2012 buzz

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - As speculation mounts about his presidential ambitions, Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivered a rousing and unapologetic defense of conservative principles on Saturday at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.

Perry repeatedly brought an audience of hundreds of Republican activists to their feet with a small government message reminiscent of the one that helped him win an unprecedented third term as governor last November.

Perry said there is "too much spending, too much interfering and too much apologizing" in Washington.

"Stand up!," Perry thundered. "Let's speak with pride about our morals and our values and redouble our effort to elect more conservative Republicans. Let's stop this American downward spiral!"

Perry made no mention of his political plans and avoided the media by slipping out the back of the hotel where the conference was held following his speech.

But it was clear that the governor was positioning himself as a conservative heavyweight with a credible economic record should he decide to join the crowded Republican presidential field.

He has said he will make a decision after Texas wraps up legislative business at the end of the month.

At one point, Perry asked the audience to take out their phones and text the word "Forward" to a number linked to his political organization, capturing their contact information in the event of a future campaign.

He sounded right at home when speaking about social issues that many Republican primary voters hold dear.

"When it comes to conservative social issues, it saddens me when sometimes my fellow Republicans duck and cover in the face of pressure from the left," he said, without naming names.

And a day after Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour spoke here and urged Republicans not to get hung up on "purity" or ideology when choosing a presidential nominee, Perry said the party should never capitulate on its principles.

"Our party cannot be all things to all people," he said. "It can't be. Our loudest opponents on the left are never going to like us, so let's stop trying to curry favor with them."

Perry took a moment to "brag a little bit on Texas conservative values."

Under his watch, he said, Texas has created nearly 50 percent of the nation's jobs over the last two years and balanced the state budget (though he did not mention that the state used federal stimulus money to plug a big budget hole).

He listed a simple four-point recipe for a health economy: "don't spend all the money," keep taxes low, maintain a fair and predictable regulatory climate, and reform the legal system to prevent frivolous lawsuits.

When Perry left the stage after his 20-minute address, the crowd showered him with chants of "Run, Rick, Run!"

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. GL

    If he think he is the answer then why is he not running? Only thing he like to do is run his big mouth for attention. Sara Palin and Rick Perry are cut from the same cloth. All mouth!

    June 18, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Alex

    "Our loudest opponents on the left are never going to like us," Perry said. Seems as is this Teapublican needs counseling if he's concerned about being liked so much. Pretty much sums up the twisted psyche of the whole neo-conservative political movement.

    June 18, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. GL

    Under his watch, he said, Texas has created nearly 50 percent of the nation's jobs over the last two years and balanced the state budget (though he did not mention that the state used federal stimulus money to plug a big budget hole).

    Yea because Republicans never let facts and the truth get in their way of lying to the American people. Just like he wanted Obama to give him more disater money. Republicans know that most of their voters believer everthing they said so they can tell lies after lies and it would matter.

    June 18, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Clwyd

    Wow as n=much as you want, but his call for Texas maybe sucede from the Union will haunt him to defeat!

    June 18, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. GL

    And a day after Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour spoke here and urged Republicans not to get hung up on "purity" or ideology when choosing a presidential nominee, Perry said the party should never capitulate on its principles.

    "Our party cannot be all things to all people

    He just want to be all for the white people. Republicans party of the white people and he is not afair to point that out.

    June 18, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. NamCbtVet

    If a clodhopper from Texas is all it takes to wow the GOP, then they will be suckers for the anyone breathing. Any of the peapod (Perry, Palin, Paul and Pawlenty) are hopeless and the rest of the herd is wallowing in elephant dung. BHO will be a walk-in to a second term.

    June 18, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. mitchyz

    Small govt! Yeah right! He's hiding from his state cowardly as they fight for him to add the anti-TSA legislation back to the special session. He put his tail between his legs at the first sign of threat from the federal govt of a no fly zone when Texas passed legislation that would ban TSA pay downs. Now he's nowhere to be found when state lawmakers plead for him to add the liberty legislation to the special congressional session his state is in. Well, we found him – he's giving empty speeches in new Orleans an doing a lot of "talking the talk."

    June 18, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. lory

    It's always easy to make such a ridiculous statement about creating jobs and balance the state budget without mentioning the roots. Get out from your seat!

    June 18, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. Wise Lady ain't gonna buy it

    “He sounded right at home when speaking about social issues that many Republican primary voters hold dear.”
    I wonder if this crowd knows the REAL rick perry? The one who plays up his religion but seems rather skimpy when it comes to donations to his church? According to a June 12 story from the ‘San Antonio Express-News’ titled: “Perry has not overburdened the collection plate–Governor's modest religious donations are raising eyebrows”, perry plays up his faith with speeches at prayer breakfasts and inviting the nation's governors to a prayer meeting, etc. YET rick perry doesn’t seem too fond of church tithing. From the San Antonio Express-News piece:

    “Perry's top income year since becoming governor came in 2007 when he reported $1,092,810 in adjusted gross income ..... His total charitable cash contributions that year totaled $413.”

    Why would anyone ever trust this hypocrite?

    June 18, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. answeris42

    I wonder if he mentioned the 100,00 teacher jobs that are about to be lost because of his "conservative" fiscal policy. Check his decision making in 2006 to find out why we have a crisis on our hands in Texas. This guy is a head of hair with no spine.

    June 18, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. NVa Native

    An unending parade of radical GOPers pushing their brand of social engineering. Yuck!

    June 18, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. MikeH

    Since this wacko man has advocated succession, he has by some definitions, committed treason.

    When a Texas poll indicated that only 9% favored Perry for President, his respons was to say " A prophet is not loved in their hometown" making him a religious treasonous wacko, in short what passes for the typical Republican these days.

    Republicans are trying to bring down America's economy in a twisted plot to ultimately put their corporate masters in complete dictatorial control. Rick Perry is just more open about it.

    June 18, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. NEFinCA

    Rick Perry is a joke – period! He wants to push his beliefs on every American whether they want it or not! His presidency would be a dictatorship. They may like him in Texas, but the rest of the country is smart enough to see him for what he is – a joke.

    June 18, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. thomas

    Perry , a GOP log cabin John Wayne wannabe !

    I can't believe what a break this guy is getting from the press. Isn't there any real investigative journalist left in this country ?
    The Perry machine is big and runs on Cow Dung , ask anybody in Houston or Austin !

    June 18, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. OneMoreTime

    "keep taxes low" ................ unless they are property taxes, which are high and going higher due to the 28B deficit!
    "don't spend all the money" ............. meaning, while teachers are being laid off, classes will be larger, but don't
    use the rainy day fund of 15B to ease the situation. This rainy day fund will grow bigger due to high gas prices, but
    that's not to be mentioned.
    "prevent frivilous lawsuitss" news for you Guv, if I or my family is hit, injured or killed by a "legally texting while
    driving person", thanks to your veto, I'm gonna' sue. If you try to take my land, I'm gonna' sue!
    Suffice it to say, I'm not wowed.

    June 18, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. Bill in Florida

    If the ultra-righties love him, he has no chance in a general election. Weird that the GOP doesn't seem to understand this fact with any of their candidates this election cycle.

    June 18, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. Larry L

    A more polished version of "W". He ran for governor bragging about our economy although we're now facing a giant deficit! Our schools will pay the bill causing us to drop even lower in the national rankings. I suspect our new state motto will be "We're smarter than Mississippi!". Do not let this Bible-thumping, right-wing wacko gain any more power! He was quoted as saying "the only book we need is the Bible" yet he doesn't even give money to his own church. He's just another political weasel working the enthusiasm and faith of the evangelical right-wing of the GOP. Anybody but Perry!

    June 18, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. CaliforniaBC

    This guy initially was a potentially worrisome candidate that Obama could face but the more I hear him speak the more he just sound like another far-right wing republican that many are regretting voting into office last years. Plus, he's HIGHLY religious, suggested that Texas secede, is another Texas governor vying for the presidency. He just seems to similar to GW. Plus his communications person called other media sources (except Faux) "liberal mediacrats" which sounded more like a nonsense-pull-a-word-out-of-a-hat phrase that some ignorant right-wing would use in a posting on Craigslist Rant & Raves.

    June 18, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. Name king

    How can people lesson to 3'days of bashing a man that have stopped a
    Momentous 750 thousand jobs lost a month while gaining 2.2 million jobs since the health care law has passed, 15 straight months of private job increase. 10 straight months of economy growth, without a sing help from the party of no. Bush was left with a great economy and a huge surplus, he went south with bush tax cuts and tanked our economy. Yet these are the same policies the repugs are fighting to put back in place. Trickle down economics don't work in a global market fools, do we need another 10 years to prove it doesn't.

    June 18, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    all these folks that want to boost Perry for all the jobs he has created here in Texas I say, come on down here and get one of those jobs and see if you can support your family with it. The majority are minimum wage jobs, little to no benefits, and being a right to work state most of the time you suffer under the company's work rules which mainly or not in your favor. Texas LEADS the nation I believe in uninsured healthcare, plus our governor used the stimulus money he claimed he didn't want to help try to balance his state budget. Then he tries like many others to wrap himself in his Christianity to appear to be a good person. Looks like some in the US are being fooled like many here in Texas were. You do NOT want this guy near the White House, I would take GW Bush back in there over Perry.

    June 18, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. Lone Star

    Another divisive Republcan. No tolarence. Just hate hate hate. It's our way or the highway. America does not need Perry.

    June 18, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. Surf-the-Tsunami

    Capt James Richard 'Rick' Perry , USAF
    America's best Gov , RGA Chairman opens with Military Salute.. He is our "Rocky"...our "American Stallion"and our next American President 2012

    June 18, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. Clyde

    This is just going to be too funny. One more clown added the the Republican clown parade. Interesting how well his conservative philosophy is working in his home state – $27 billion in the hole, draconian cuts to education funding AND tax cuts. Brilliant there Ricky.

    June 18, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Perry vows to sucede from the Union.

    June 18, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. fayse

    I live in Texas and I can tell you all that this man is not even as smart as George W Bush. He is however. a member of the same "good ole boy" gang that Bush, Cheney and Rove belong to, not to mention the connection to the Koch brothers. the Tea Party is as dangerous as the radical extremist muslims. Please note, not all Christians nor all muslims are radical

    June 18, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
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