(West Des Moines, IA) Former Texas Governor Rick Perry visited West Des Moines yesterday to speak to Dallas County Republicans at another installment of their spring lecture series which has already included New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have also committed to take part in future installments later this spring.
Perry told the group of approximately 65 people who gathered at the West Des Moines Marriott that the wanted to present an optimistic vision. He shared what his state, which represents the 13th largest economy in the world, had done to spur economic growth and prosperity. “These principles we put into practice will work anywhere,” Perry stated.
The first principle he stated was to not overtax. He mentioned later in his remarks that the way to make sure people can see wage increases is to lower the corporate tax rate.
The second principle is to have a regulatory climate that is “fair and predictable.”
The third principle Perry said is tort reform. One change that reforming the legal system brought was an increase in licensed physicians in Texas. Perry said that Texas now has 35,000 more licensed physicians than there were in 2003. He stated access to healthcare has “exploded.”
The fourth principles Perry shared was a skilled workforce. He said that companies like Facebook and Ebay won’t move into states that don’t have the workforce to meet their criteria. He said Texas implemented accountable public school policies like testing to have a better idea where a student is at academically, and incentive-based pay for teachers. He stated that Texas now has the 2nd highest graduate rate in the country and the highest graduation rate among African-Americans and Hispanics.
“States should be freed to make those decision for themselves to compete against other states,” Perry explained.
Perry shared that Texas the creation of 1.5 million new jobs between the end of 2007 to the end of 2014. He added that nationally the U.S. only saw 1.1 million new jobs created so the rest of the country lost 400,000 jobs.
He noted that to turn things around the nation needed men and women who respect and believe in the Constitution, in particular, the 10th Amendment which says powers not enumerated to the federal government are to be reserved for the states or the people.
“I happen to think that a Governor and legislature no matter what state it is will come up with a better way to deliver healthcare than Washington, DC,” Perry said. “I know that Governor Branstad and the legislature… and your parents and your teachers are a lot better place for the curriculum to be done for the kids of Iowa than from Washington, DC and this Common Core concept.”
“I think it is impossible for the diversity that we have for this country… I mean these states are different. For them to be pushed into one-size-fits-all policies that come out of Washington, DC – I think that is impossible. Not only is it an impossibility to operate in an efficient and effective way. I think it just makes people unhappy,” Perry added.
Quoting the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Perry called the 50 states “laboratories of democracy.”
“He said states need to be left to experiment. He said from time to time there is going to be a state that fouls up, and messes up, and they’re going to do some harm to their citizens, but they haven’t destroyed the Republic. That is the power of the Constitution,” Perry stated.
Perry referred back to the principles he shared. “These principles will work anywhere you have men and women who are principled, disciplined, and allow people the freedom to make those decisions for themselves. That’s the reason why I am optimistic about this country because we are only a few decisions on the economic side (and a change of leadership he added later) of seeing this country explode economically,” Perry shared.
Perry also discussed foreign policy saying threats to our security have grown with the background of the Obama administration “leading from behind.” He noted the rise of ISIS, alluded to Benghazi and Egypt, and reserved his strongest criticism for President Obama’s handling of Iran.
“We have an administration that I am concerned about that is negotiating with a country that certainly doesn’t have our best interest at heart – negotiating with a country that is responsible or our Marines being killed in Beriut, responsible for weapons that killed our soldiers in Iraq, and a country that wants to have a nuclear capability,” Perry explained.
Perry said two powerful messages need to sent to Iran. “Until Iran stops supporting terrorists, stop funding terrorism whether it is Hezbollah or Hamas, that they will never, ever negotiate with the United States and they will never, ever – period – get a nuclear weapon. Never.”
Perry was unable to stay for questions from the audience as anticipated after his 28 minute long remarks due to another commitment afterwards.
You can watch his remarks below or here.