ABC News’ Michael Falcone and Arlette Saenz report:
DUBUQUE, Iowa — – Speaking to a group of business leaders here on his second stop of the day, presidential candidate Rick Perry cast his Iowa campaign swing as a direct challenge to President Obama’s own bus tour of several Midwestern states, including this one.
“I know the president is in Iowa today and he’s on a jobs tour,” Perry said. “I guess we’ve kind of got competing jobs tours, if you want to know the truth of the matter.”
Perry criticized President Obama’s approach to returning the country to economic health, saying that “his approach is to study these things.”
“We don’t need to study anymore,” Perry said. “We know what the problem is. We’re being overtaxes, over regulated and over-litigated.”
On a day when the New York Times ran a front page story raising the question of whether Perry’s record of creating jobs in Texas had more to do with luck than Perry’s own stewardship, he declared that his recipe for success was simple.
“It’s not magic it’s actually common sense,” Perry said.
He noted that his number one rule as governor was “don’t spend all the money”
“Not only do we have a problem with spending in Washington, DC,” Perry said, “We have a problem with printing money.”
Perry, who spoke at a local restaurant in this coal manufacturing town, also said that if elected he would make passing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution a top priority.
“I will travel the country to help pass that in the states so that it can be brought back and be implemented,” Perry told the business leaders. “I don’t think that there’s anything more important in this country than to live within its means.”
If Congress won’t cooperate on curtailing spending, Perry, who seems to carry a black Sharpe pen in his suit jacket pocket wherever he goes, took it out and waved it in front of his audience on Tuesday afternoon.
“The veto pen will come out and the budget will be vetoed,” Perry said.
“Unless we have a pro-business president in the White House,” he said, “then I feat for the future of this country.”