November 8th, 2010
11:51 AM ET
12 years ago

Perry faults Bush for 'big government' initiatives

Washington (CNN) - Former President George W. Bush isn't the only Texas politician promoting a new book – so is his onetime lieutenant governor and successor, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, fresh off winning a historic third term in Austin.

Perry's new book, "Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington," is a 191-page polemic against what he calls "a Washington establishment that has abused our trust."

Perry framed his re-election campaign in Texas as an aggressive fight against an over-reaching Washington, but it's not just the Obama administration bearing the brunt of his ire.

Republicans during the Bush administration were also at fault for ballooning the deficit, Perry told a group of Washington reporters over coffee on Monday.

Bush will be remembered as a good president, Perry explained, "but it won't be based on fiscal issues. It will be based on keeping us free and keeping us safe."

"He may go down as more than a good president, even above that, but at the same time I think they missed some opportunities to send some good messages to a Congress that was spending too much money frankly on programs that we cant afford and don't need," he said of the former president, pointing specifically to the Medicare prescription drug benefit and No Child Left Behind.

"I think those were both big government, but more important they were Washington-centric," he said of the programs. "One size does not fit all, unless you're talking tube socks."

Perry was vague when pressed on what specific federal programs should be sliced to reduce federal spending levels, but said all federal programs, including the defense budget, should be subject to scrutiny and possible cuts.

"If we are really going to lay out ideas that can solve the challenges of this economic crisis this country faces, then everything needs to be on the table," he said.

Perry followed up his sit-down with beltway opinion-makers with a speech at the Heritage Foundation. Later in the day, he will fly to New York for a taping of "The Daily Show with John Stewart."

The governor's emergence on the national stage began during the governor's race, with his early courting of the Tea Party movement and daily broadsides against President Obama – rhetoric that had his Democratic opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White, claiming that Perry already had his sights on the White House.

Perry, though, re-iterated that he has no presidential ambitions and pledged to serve out the entire four years of his next term, unless he dies.

"The Lord may have a different game plan for me in four years," he said. "I may not be alive in four years."

Aside from a critical remark about the Massachusetts health care plan implemented by former Gov. Mitt Romney, Perry refused to speculate about which of the potential 2012 presidential contenders he prefers.

The best candidate, he said, will be "a committed fiscal conservative" who wants to "make Washington as inconsequential as it can for the people" of this country. "I think the people are yearning for someone to devolve this power back out of Washington, D.C. to the states," he said.

Filed under: 2010 • 2012 • George W. Bush • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    Hey "Nancy Pelosi....". That was one fine rightwing rant you had...thank you for exposing your partisan-based ignorance for us all to see. Your moronic issue about state-centric vs federalism is not a 100-year-old issue, as you so stupidly think. It has many roots going way back, but certainly first addressed on a national level in the 1830's when we had to deal with the "nullifiers"...who clamed the states need follow only those laws they agreed with. Having stuffed that initiative back up their rears, especially in SC, they then came roaring back in the 1860s and killed over 600,000 Americans because rightwing RADICALs (not conservatives) had a views SO un-American, only bloodshed could correct it. We are Americans first. And now we have ignorant neo-morons here in 2010 blathering mindlessly about the same old SETTLED issues that many Americans have already died for. You sir are seditious, and are one massively ignorant, fear-mongering Tea-tard. I suspect that Bin Laden heartily enjoys your un-American ignorance.

    November 8, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Please governor Perry- SECEDE! You and all those that feel that if someone does not agree with you, they hvae no say. You cliam to be an American- then follow our rules! Accept the will of the voters and stop your threats.

    November 8, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. a in austin

    Hey Gov. Goodhair – you need to come back to Texas and figure out how you are going to balance the budget ($25 billion shortfall). Are we, the taxpayers, being charged for your security detail? How about using that $250 million for Formula 1 racing to help balance the budget?

    November 8, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. scotty

    Bush a good president What a joke! 911- Katrina- mission acomplish- Etc, All talk typical Texan

    November 8, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    I would take GW Bush over the moron Perrry as gov of Texas ANYDAY. Since Texas is the reddest of red states and totally blinded by the right, if I had to chose "W" could represent this state far better than Rick Perry can. Atl least Bush was a real down to earth likable person NONE of which Rick Perry is.

    November 8, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. jim atmadison

    Having Republicans complain about fiscal irresponsibility reminds me of the story of the young man who, upon being convicted for murdering his parents, pleaded for leniency because he was an orphan.


    November 8, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Bryant

    Rick Perry needs to sit down and shut up. I recently read an article about how, over the past few years, he has billed the Texas taxpayers over $1 million dollars for bodyguards to accompany he and his wife on several overseas trips. Nobody overseas knows who he and his wife are, and they probably don’t even care. My feeling is that he did it just to look and feel important. Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican.

    November 8, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. kmp

    This is the whole problem if it was such an issue then why didn't all of you yahoo's say something then? All of a sudden it is geez we didn't like it but he kept us safe.

    November 8, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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