Today Rick Perry made his most extensive case yet for nominating someone with proven, executive experience. In his speech to a fired up crowd at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Perry hit hard on a recurring theme of his campaign, his decades of executive experience as the Governor of Texas.
Whether the former governor of Texas was discussing the advance of ISIS, the crushing impact the Obama Administration’s economic policies have had on America’s middle class, educational improvements achieved during his 14 years as Governor of Texas, or the threat of an ebola outbreak, Perry’s point was clear. Experience matters.
Perry began his speech with an optimistic outlook for America’s future and a note that while many in our nation have lost faith in our current leaders, they haven’t lost hope in America.
They know we can do better than point two percent growth.
They know we can do better than one in ten American workers being unemployed, underemployed or too discouraged to look for a job.
They know we can do better than one in five children living on food stamps.
And they know we can do better than one in seven Americans living in poverty.
After speaking about the recent advance of ISIS in Iraq with the capture of Ramadi, Perry went on to state it doesn’t have to be this way …
We do not have to accept weakness abroad, and a slow recovery at home. We have the power to make things new again … To assert America values abroad again … to rebuild our job base at home again. There is nothing wrong in America today that can’t be fixed with new leadership.
For the last 7 years we have experienced the leadership on the Democratic side borne out of the Senate. Whether it was our President’s insistence to pass an unpopular piece of legislation with no bipartisan support in Obamacare, or the fires set by Hillary Clinton during her service as the head of the State Department, or everyone’s favorite crazy shot gun toting uncle, Joe Biden … the collective record would give anyone pause when considering the Senate’s ability to produce leaders ready for the office of President of the United States.
With this in mind, and considering the cast of potential candidates he may face should he choose to announce a run on June 4, it comes as no surprise that Perry used his speech to make the point that it might be time to get back to a Governor with proven, executive experience.
After two terms of a president with little experience … who is long on rhetoric, yet short on a record of achievement … I do not believe the American People will simply trust the rhetoric.
It will be a “show me, don’t tell me” election …where voters look past the rhetoric to look at the record. Leadership is not a speech on the Senate floor … it is a record of action. It is not what you say, it is what you do.
America has entered a time of testing, and we need a president who confronts stark realities… and provides leadership that transcends the petty partisanship of the last few years. We need a president who bridges the partisan divide rather than widening it … who brings people together instead of separating us by class, income and creed.
And we need a president who tells the American People the truth: The world is a safer place only when America leads.
Throughout the speech examples of Perry’s vision for America’s future were woven together with examples of his success through his record as Governor of Texas. The familiar themes of American energy independence through the exportation of natural gas, a regulatory reform, and expansive tax reform, were sprinkled throughout the speech.
The Governor earned multiple rounds of applause during his speech, while touting Texas’ 2nd highest graduation rate in the nation, Perry earned a loud round of applause when he noted the improvement came without Common Core.
As Governor Perry ended his speech he told the story of trip he took with his father 15 years ago to Omaha Beach and the cemetery above filled with the men who gave their lives for our nation. As he spoke of his trip Perry noted that he was struck by how all the headstones faced west, “standing in silent judgement of us today. Asking that question of whether their sacrifice was worth it. Well ladies and gentlemen, I want to give them that answer. I want to give them that answer in November 2016 when we elect a patriotic American Republican President of the United States.”
Perry is clearly setting himself up to be the full spectrum conservative candidate many wanted him to be in 2012. Apparently a healthy back and a few years of intense focus and study on the issues is beginning to pay off.
Below is the full video of Perry’s speech to SRLC 2015.