The PJ Tatler

Growth and Experience Is the Answer, Rick Perry Tells Conservative Confab

Rick Perry speaks to Red State Gathering 2015

His long track record as the chief executive of the state that’s served as the consistent job-creating engine of the country, is Rick Perry’s calling card as he speaks to Red State Gathering 2015

Barack Obama has divided us and depressed our economy. The answer, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, is to replace him with a president who cherishes the Lincolnian vision of a united America, and who unleashes the engine of growth by weeding out job-killing regulations and taxes.

Rick Perry is a perennial favorite at RedState Gathering, and this time is no exception, even if his presidential star seems somewhat dim at the moment.

“America is ready for an executive…who understands how to lead, how to make decisions,” Perry said, recounting the successes of his long tenure at the helm in the Lone Star State.

He gets huge applause when recalling his immigration message to Barack Obama, delivered face to face: “Mr. President, if you won’t secure this border, Texas will.”

His executive experience is his calling card, and he repeats the refrain “nobody gave me a manual” before outlining a laundry list of crises with which he has dealt, from the border onslaught, to the Space Shuttle disaster over Texas, to Ebola.

“America longs for someone that has that experience that you know how they’re going to respond,” Perry said, his voice moving toward crescendo. “Our allies need somebody in that office that they know when there is a red line crossed, that there will be a response. And it is time for us to stand with our great ally Israel again.” [Huge applause]

Perry started with Lincoln the unifier and ended with Lincoln the emancipator, calling on black and Latino Americans to compare the Republican record on freeing children from failing schools to the Democrat record of defending the teachers’ union to the detriment of students. He’s glad to compare the results Texas achieved in 10 years — 2nd highest graduation rate in America, and #1 for blacks and Latinos.

“We did that without taking any of that Race to the Top, No Child Left Behind or Common Core [federal program money],” he said, to a standing ovation.

In the Q&A session, Perry noted that the next president may get to appoint four Supreme Court justices. “Show me, don’t tell me,” is the way to approach judicial appointees –he said he appointed six justices to the Texas Supreme Court. “I don’t do squishy on judges.”

His position on electing Supreme Court justices to limited terms? “You know what, I kind of like that idea. But why don’t we just get really good justices on the court, who believe the Constitution. You either believe the 10th Amendment or you don’t.”

“I want to go to Washington, D.C., and make it as inconsequential in your life as I can make it,” Perry said to a standing ovation.