Washington (CNN) – Red state-blue state governors Rick Perry and Martin O’Malley debated job creation and healthcare on Wednesday, with Perry equating adding people to Medicaid via Obamacare with “putting tens of thousands on the Titanic knowing how it’s going to turn out.”
Both men are thought to be contenders for the White House in 2016 and on CNN’s “Crossfire,” they aired out some of the key issues that are likely to define their campaigns should they run.
Perry has been noncommittal about his plans to pursue the Republican nomination for a second time after the Texas governor’s campaign imploded last year. He showed none of the hesitation of 2012 on Wednesday night however, hammering home points about Texas job creation through limited government policies.
Ex-advisers hint at future as Perry announces exit as governor
When challenged on the disproportionately large number of minimum wage jobs created in Texas along with the large number of Texans without health insurance, Perry stuck to his talking points.
“We’re about giving people freedom,” Perry said, the freedom to have a job and the freedom to choose whether or not they have health insurance.
Perry continually cited the businesses that have set up shop in Texas, including Amazon, Facebook and Toyota.
“They didn’t come there if they were worried about whether or not there was not going to be a skilled workforce, or people were going to have healthcare,” Perry said.
Perry and O’Malley clashed most sharply over jobs, in large part spurred by Perry’s media outreach aimed at poaching Maryland businesses.
In response to Texas’ business-friendly environment, O’Malley fell back on job-creation language coined by President Barack Obama.
Rather than Texas policies that seem to disproportionately create minimum wage jobs, Maryland has chosen to focus on “building an economy from the middle out,” O’Malley said, via things like improving education.
2016 watch: O'Malley New Hampshire bound
O’Malley, a Democrat, told Perry that Texas is “not an economy that is actually lifting up the middle class.”
The two came at their different positions with radically different statistics and perspectives.
O’Malley spoke of talent creation and entrepreneurship encouraged in Maryland while Perry trumpeted improving education standards and the various options Texans have for healthcare, although he didn’t elaborate.
Texas and Maryland have also taken polar opposite views on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislative achievement better known as Obamacare.
O’Malley has continued to hold up Maryland’s early adoption of Obamacare while Perry has refused federal money to expand Medicaid via the healthcare law.
Perry argued that expanding Medicaid and embracing Obamacare would ultimately end up costing Texas $100 billion.
Putting “tens of thousands of people on a system that is broken,” Perry said of adding them to Medicaid, is akin to “putting tens of thousands on the Titanic knowing how it’s going to turn out.”
In turn, O’Malley argued that the flexibility of the Obamacare healthcare exchanges that get underway next month, regardless of the inevitable hiccups in the system, will offer Maryland workers a competitive advantage – allowing them to move from job to job without worrying about losing their health insurance.
Go away Perry. We don't need hyperbole. We need people who can think and solve problems.
In one episode of the Situation Room, Stephanie Cutter uses "we" when talking about the administration. Seems like a conflict of interest.
Texas style health care you are free to be sick and go to the emergency room so everyone has to pay. The old system is the train wreck.
The freedom to work for less. And why are 25% of people in Texas without health insurance?
Can't believe Perry actually stated that Texans have the freedom to choose healthcare if they want. No one chooses to go without healthcare because they wish to remain free. It's a matter of economics.
The power hungry continue their rant whether they know what they are talking about or not. Perry is looking at the Presidency and will happily ride the GOP bus regardless of who it runs over along the way. In general, politicians don't care about the people they represent. They care about the next election, their PAC money, the money and perks they get from the lobbyist. The public can be damned. Case in point: Blind people carrying firearms; think the NRA had anything to do with that?
Yes Righteous Rick, please run for president again. It was so nice to see exactly what most Americans think of your kind of politics. Not much.
This health care is THE LAW OF THE LAND, JUST SHUT UP.
This is a farce – Perry competed for the Republican nomination; what else CAN he say but "Obamacare is doomed to fail"?!
The problem with THAT analogy is that the Republicans keep trying to push an iceberg in front of it.
Texas is rapidly becoming America's India.
First time I've seen O'malley, way more going on than perry .nothing but gop standard talking points, yada yada. Nothing new or creative about what's going on in Texas. With better paying jobs, better education standards, better health insurance, less crime, less industrial accidents, oh yaeh, and much less corruption
I can't believe that I received an email this morning stating it was from the Democratic Party HQs asking for a monetary donation to help Obama get this this thru. They even showed me having a supporter #...I am a Republican. Guess they're pretty desperate, but they won't get any help from me.
Y'all gotta love all that "freedom" to choose which healthcare you can't afford on your minimum wage job in Texas. Then once I'm sick and in debt to the corporations and the state, I'll be your indentured servant eternally.
Thanks so much for my "freedom" Gov. Perry!
Mr. perry is wrong. My 24 and 21 year old children that are college students can now receive coverage on my plan, my diabetes is no longer a problem if I change plans and my premiums did not skyrocket like mouth breathers like perry promised, in fact they may go down here in Ca. Why is that such a horrible thing for working people in this country?
It's only like the Titanic if you count the GOP as the iceberg.
Look, we get it, there's 'one of them' in the white house. 'Different people' are crossing the borders and the country is becoming a bit less lily white. It's scary times to be an old-fashioned, bigoted, sexist good ol' boy.
But that's in the past. Let's try to NOT hinder and harm every last non-ultra-rich person for a change every possible chance you get.
No, that would be the GOP.
Rick Perry is the only living thing on the planet that makes W and Sarah Palin look like flip-pin geniuses.
All these republicans keep saying they know how the ACA is going to turn out. No they don't! And, if they think they know how it is going to turn out, nobody ever says what the end result is going to be! Didn't we hear these same kind of irrational arguments in the advent of Medicare? Try and wrestle that away now from those stodgy old republican seniors!
Obamacare was a bad idea that the liberals doubled down on -a good reason not to do this. Even the union drones hate it.
I haven't seen or read anything that makes me think Obamacare won't work as planned. Tens of millions more people will have health insurance and that's great for the country, for the economy and for our livability as a nation. It's just gross and sad that Republicans are rooting for it to fail. They just don't care about people.
Sad – Rick Perry wearing glasses to try to appear smarter. I watched most of the show yesterday & found myself feeling sorry for the guy, which I never had before. It kind of reminded me of that video of him where he appeared to give a speech while on something.....but in this case, nobody else, including the host could get a word in edgewise because he was blathering on with the nonsense confirming to everybody that he should have never been elected to governor of a big state to begin with.
I've not watched Crossfire before. It was a bit sketchy. The quality of the show - other than Martin O'Malley – was pretty bad.
The Texas governor has more uninsured Texans in his state than any other. His solution? Use the ERs for medical care. Governor Perry is the most intellectually challenged governor in the country. He couldn't even remember the Federal agencies he would close in the GOP debates! This is troubling and indicative of his poor memory. He didn't even remember the Department of Energy! (Texas is a major energy producer.) The country does not need another cheerleader as POTUS.
At least the Titanic was an accident...
Obama knows that Obama care is an utter disaster. That is exactly why he wants to implement it. To bury this nation. He has been groomed to do exactly that for most of his life.