In 2012, Former Texas Governor Rick Perry failed to meet expectations, giving several cringe worthy performances during the Republican debates. Now he’s back, and perhaps better than ever. During his campaign kickoff event in Addison, TX on Tuesday he seemed like a more confident and more well-rounded candidate than he did four years ago.
Rick Perry describes himself as a farmer, a vet (of the U.S. Air Force) and former governor of Texas, having served in that role longer than anyone else. While in office he oversaw what, if Texas were a country, would have been the world’s 12th largest economy. By most measures, that economy lead the nation out of the 2007-8 recession.
His speech had a mainly optimistic and extremely patriotic tone. He made several references to American exceptionalism, stating at one point, “We don’t have to apologize for American exceptionalism or Western values.” He also said, “our rights come from God, not government.”
He sought to draw a sharp contrast between his vision for America and what has occurred under the watch of President Obama. He rattled off a number of areas in which he maintains Obama has failed, notably in the areas of foreign policy and with the economy.
“Yeah, it’s time for a reset, time to reset the relationship between government and citizen,” he stated, making a reference to Hillary Clinton’s failed “Russian reset”. The statement also might imply what many conservatives would consider as overreach of executive power by Obama and the regulatory agencies at his command. He made several mentions on how he would roll back excessive regulation that he believes hamstring American business and entrepreneurs. He singled out Dodd-Frank banking regulations and the Affordable Care Act as targets of his reign-in of governmental power.
He pledged massive action on his first day in office if elected president. Those include: An immediate freeze on all pending Obama era regulations, an order approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and repealing any deal with Iran that allowed them to have nuclear weapons.
Tying our economic and foreign policies, he talked about how Russian President Putin was using energy as a weapon to control Ukraine and the rest of Europe. Perry said on that, “if energy is going to be used as a weapon, America is going to have the largest arsenal.” He said he would immediately allow the export of American oil overseas.
One of the hot-button issues Rick Perry touched on was that of border security, a major challenge for him as Governor of Texas. Most Republicans have demanded that any immigration reform be predicated upon stricter border security measures.
He laid out his case for a governor being a better choice for President than a Senator, several of which are also running against him for the Republican nomination. “Leadership, is not a speech from the Senate floor,” a shot aimed at Rand Paul in particular who recently made an eleven hour speech in the Senate against the PATRIOT Act. President Obama and Hillary Clinton notably were also U.S. Senators.
Even if he manages to reform his image after a poor first run for president, Perry still has one major obstacle in front of him, he is still under Indictment for alleged abuse of power while Governor. Perry rejects the claims and states that he is confident the he will be exonerated. This will not likely happen without at least some bad publicity proceeding any resolution, even if in his favor. If he can get thought that and he has indeed reformed his image as candidate, he could prove a worthy opponent to the other conservative Republicans in the primaries.