Washington (CNN) - Speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry focused his speech less on social conservative values and more on the economy, taking a swipe at President Barack Obama along the way.
"[Americans] aren't look for soaring speeches. They're looking for common sense solutions," Perry said Friday. "They know our first order of business to get America working again is sending our current president to the private sector."
The Texas governor primarily talked about American 'exceptionalism,' arguing the best way to maintain freedom is to protect the country's economic and national security.
And on the heels of an agreement this week between the White House and Senate Democrats on a 5.6% "millionaire's tax," Perry blasted the idea of raising taxes as a way to stimulate the economy.
"When [liberals] utter phrases like 'fair share' you just know they're once again playing fast and furious with the truth," Perry said. "And the truth is you can't rev up the engine of an economic growth by heaping higher taxes on job creators."
While he didn't touch on gay rights and education opportunities for illegal immigrants –two issues he's taken heat for from the right over recent months– Perry did delve into his stance on abortion. Notably, he said he was a consistent anti-abortion advocate unlike other White House hopefuls.
"For some candidates, pro-life is an election-year slogan to follow the prevailing political winds," Perry said in apparent hit against his opponent, Mitt Romney, whom he didn't name.
The former Massachusetts governor refused to sign an anti-abortion plan earlier this summer, drawing ire from his fellow GOP candidates. The plan called for the candidate, if elected, to end all taxpayer funding of abortion.
While Romney said he's against abortion, he couldn't "in good conscience sign it."
Gaining wide applause, Perry added that he signed a bill earlier this summer as Texas governor that defunded Planned Parenthood in the Lone Start State.
"For me, it's about the absolute principle that every human being is entitled to human life," Perry said.