Greenland, New Hampshire (CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry kicked off his presidential campaign in the first-in-the-nation primary state with a pro-business message and a healthy dose of Texas wisdom.
A tea party favorite who is making an appeal to both social and fiscal conservatives, Perry highlighted his record of job creation in Texas and accused President Obama of strangling economic growth and increasing the federal government's reach.
"The tax and spend and borrow agenda of this president has led to the first-ever downgrade of the credit of the United States of America," Perry said. "He's been down-grading American jobs. He's been down-grading our standing in the world."
Perry vowed to slash the size of the federal government and hold firm on making the spending cuts necessary to free the nation from debt.
"I'm not going to Washington to be liked," he said. "We will stop spending the money, unless I run out of ink in the veto pen."
The straight-talking politician sprinkled his speech with references to his Texas roots, including addressing the audience as "y'all," and spoke about his childhood, telling the audience he grew up without indoor plumbing and wore clothes hand-sewn by his mother.
Like his predecessor in the governor's mansion, Perry spoke with a strong Texas twang during his remarks at the backyard meet-and-greet, which is likely to prompt comparisons to former President George W. Bush.
Perry's New Hampshire roll-out was hosted at the home of state Rep. Pam Tucker, who serves as deputy speaker of the House. It drew a cross-section of Republicans including tea party activists.
When asked how he would defeat the president, Perry pledged to win with a jobs message.
"Americans aren't interested in a bunch of negative rock throwing and what have you," he said. "They're interested in solutions."
Perry will meet with local officials and attend another event Sunday before flying to Iowa. He returns to New Hampshire with an aggressive series of events later in the week.
Perry isn't all that pretty and he isn't a real eloquent BS artist but he gets the job done right the first time.
Funny how conservatives point to Texas as an "economic miracle" and California as a "liberal failure". Both states have similar debt per capita and debt per gdp numbers. Texas has a lower unemployment rate, but the bulk of the "new" jobs have been minimum wage jobs, making the average income in Texas some 25% lower than in California. The Texas educational system is one of the worst in the country. If that's a conservative miracle, I'd hate to see a conservative disaster.
He's all dried up-just like the unfortunate dry state of Texas.
Thanks for the usual positive spin on the latest clown in the car, cnn. Somebody help Christie out- he's wedged in the backseat! Serously folks-this is scary. Now that the meia has swallowed every right wing talking point and decided to help spread economic gloom and doom to bring down a President -i t's up to us to regular people to turn it around. Here in NY I see so much that is positive. My neighbors are working and improving their homes. the roads are full of trucks and crews. we park a mile from the crowded mall- c'mon now folks and have a little more confidence. Make the purchase you've been putting off. hire the extra worker if you can. Contrary to the Tea Party nuts you DON'T cut spending when the economy is bad-that Shrinks the economy-get it growing and THEN pay down the debt. Notice spending and size of govt is never ever ever an issue when there's a repub prez. Next Gop prez will borrow and spend just like Gov Perry has been for 10 years in Texas. hey people we have to turn this around ourselves
No mention of the 49000 teachers being laid off. No mention that the jobs are minimum wage or less. No mention it took stimulus money to balance his budget. No mention the next budget will start off in the red. No mention of him begging for federal money. He forgets to mention quite a few things....he is Bush all over again but worse.