Urbandale, Iowa (CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused Barack Obama of caring more about politics than American troops on Wednesday, blasting the president for not planning a major parade to welcome home soldiers from the war in Iraq.
The last combat troops left the country last week, after nearly nine years of fighting.
“This president wouldn’t welcome home our many heroes with a simple parade in their honor,” the Republican presidential candidate told a packed house at The Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale.
“Maybe it’s because this war isn’t popular with the Democrats, I don’t know," said Perry, who has tacked to the right in a final campaign push before next Tuesday's Iowa caucuses. "But Mr. President, our soldiers come first. It comes before party politics. We need to welcome our soldiers home. Give them that parade. Give them that pat on the back.”
Perry, an Air Force veteran, repeatedly mentioned the Armed Forces during his morning remarks and twice appeared to choke up when talking about the the sacrifices made by members of the military and their families.