Is Andrew Cuomo Scared to Debate Rick Perry?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is in New York, hoping to lure some of that state's businesses to Texas, and causing trouble. He challenged New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo to a debate.

ALBANY - Texas Gov. Rick Perry got his business-poaching trip to New York underway Tuesday with a Texas-sized challenge to Cuomo.

Perry, during an Albany radio appearance, challenged Cuomo to a public debate on which state - New York or Texas - had the better business climate.

"I'd be more than happy to sit down and have a thoughtful conversation, a debate with Gov. Cuomo over the issues that face us as a state and talk about the economic policies and compare New York to Texas," Perry said.

The comparison would be very one-sided. Texas has been the nation's economic engine over the past decade, where about 30% of the nation's jobs have been created. Texas' small-government model stands in sharp contrast to New York's big-government approach. But lately New York has taken to imitating Texas, with ads running nationally, and Cuomo himself making moves like this one.

Proposing no taxes on new businesses is fine, but New York still imposes a hefty state income tax. While Texans enjoy one of the nation's lowest tax burdens, and the state consistently ranks at or near the top for best states in which to do business, New York consistently ranks as one of the worst states to do business, because of its high tax burden and intense regulatory environment. In fact, Chief Executive magazine ranked Texas the best state for business in 2013, while New York came in at 49th, only beating out California.

It doesn't help New York's anti-freedom image when even its local officials try their hand at policing the speech of companies located not even in that state, but in Texas. And no one else in New York steps up to tell said official to knock it off and just leave people alone.

Progressives like Cuomo do not even believe in leaving people alone. That's part of their problem. They come off like equal parts gangsters and bullies, mostly because that's what they are.

Perry may or may not be running for president in 2016 (he probably is, as he's done as governor after this fall's elections, and still has designs on exporting Texas' economic and regulatory model to Washington). If he does, expect people like Cuomo to hide from his record and focus on a debate flub. They will dismiss him with glib soundbites that avoid their own failures and Texas' simultaneous achievements. Expect establishment Republicans to sneer at him while they promote yet another uninspiring middle of the roader who has little chance of winning. Some things never change.

Rick Perry isn't perfect -- one debate flub haunts him more than Hillary Clinton's career of cover-ups and lies will ever hurt her, and his "you don't have a heart" comment still rankles the base, as it should -- but Texas has done pretty well under his leadership. Much better than New York and California have done under the leftwing, big-government, blue state model. I would think that a Perry-Walker, Walker-Perry, or versions of Perry-Jindal, Perry-Martinez etc. ticket could do well. The GOP governors have actual records of actual, tangible accomplishments. But what do I know? I keep thinking that the national GOP might look to the Texas GOP to figure out how it's doing better with Hispanic voters than the national GOP does, and that keeps not happening year after year.