ABC News' Michael Falcone reports:
WATERLOO, Iowa — In his remarks to audience in Waterloo, Iowa, Texas Gov. Rick Perry acknowledged that “it takes me a while to get into something,” but “when I’m in, I’m in all the way.”
Perry, who has been a presidential candidate for just over 24 hours, introduced himself to voters here, sprinkling his speech with elements of his biography (“I came from a little place called Paint Creek, Texas”) as well as policy.
He said his “number one” economic message was this: “Don’t spend all the money. I know on its face that’s kind of simple.”
If given the chance to occupy the Oval Office, he also pledged to use his veto pen “till the ink runs out.”
He cast himself as a Tea Party ally and criticized those who would say that he and other like-minded Republicans are angry.
“Were angry, we’re indignant,” he said.
“We’re indignant about a president who goes son an American apology tour instead of talking about American exceptionalism.”
Perry took questions from the audience shedding his suit jacket — “my daughter’s cold so I gave her my jacket,” Perry told the crowd.
“If this shirt’s got a few wrinkles in it,” he said “it’s not my wife’s fault.”
His folksy style was on full display Country music played before his speech and he paced the stage with a wireless microphone, raising his voice at times, crouching and bending his legs when making an important point.
“Have you read my book ‘Fed Up,’” Perry asked one questioner. “Get a copy of it and read it.”
Perry, who is making a relatively late entrance into the presidential race during the same weekend that saw the downfall of another candidate — Tim Pawlenty — told his fellow Republicans that “making sure that we have a candidate that can beat Barack Obama in November is the most important thing that we do.”
ABC's Arlette Saenz, Katie Bosland and Polson Kanneth contributed reporting.