ABC News’ Michael Falcone, Amy Walter and Arlette Saenz report:
RICHMOND, Va. — Presidential candidate Rick Perry celebrated Tuesday’s Republican victory in New York’s 9th Congressional district less than 24 hours later, saying that it is yet another sign Barack Obama will be a one term president.
Perry said Obama’s “big government,” “tax-and-spend” economic policies were “re-energizing conservatives” across the country, including those who swept Republican Robert Turner into office in a heavily Democratic district.
“The voters are getting the message. The voters in New York sure got the message,” Perry said. “For the first time in almost 90 years there is going to be a Republican representing that part of New York City.”
Perry added, “I just think that’s awesome.”
In a stunning upset, Turner defeated Democrat David Weprin to win the seat most recently held by former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Perry told roughly 1,000 Republicans at a Virginia GOP fundraiser here on Wednesday that their party needed a presidential nominee who draws a “distinct and a clear contrast” with President Obama. Meeting with reporters after this speech he noted that rival Mitt Romney was not that person.
“He has been a great private sector job creator — there’s no doubt about it,” Perry said of Romney, but added that as governor of Massachusetts, he did “substantially less than quality work.”
In a ten minute speech Perry said his campaign was about one word — “freedom.”
“There is nothing ailing America that can’t be cured with the rebirth of freedom,” he said.
To that end, he offered a promise to “sign an executive order to wipe out as much of Obamacare as I can” if elected.
“This administration called food stamps an economic stimulus. I think food stamps are symptom of the problem, they’re not a solution,” Perry said. “The problem is too many Americans can’t find work, Mr. President, that’s the problem.”
Perry was introduced by Virginia’s popular Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. When asked after his speech whether he was considering McDonnell, who was elected in 2010, as a potential vice presidential candidate, Perry told reporters, “That is thinking too far ahead.”
Nevertheless, several activists in the crowd were wearing bright red “Perry-McDonnell” buttons.
As soon as James Lester of Suffolk, Va. learned that Perry was coming to the event, he bought a $55 ticket for himself and his son, James, Jr.
Lester said he liked the Texas governor’s style. Perry, he said, understands that when it’s “fourth and goal you gotta score every time.” A self described libertarian, Lester said he voted for Obama but won’t do so again in 2012.
Barbara Holmes of Norfolk, Va. also said she was anxious to hear from Perry and learn more about him. Her main criteria: a nominee who “thinks before he speaks”
Even so, Holmes said she wasn’t particularly impressed by one guy who has been on the scene for a while: Romney. “I have my doubts about him,” she said.
Perry was on a day-long campaign swing through Virginia, which began with a convocation speech to students at Liberty University in Lynchburg.
“I got my Webster’s out and I just looked up the word ‘convocation’ to make sure I knew what I was walking into here,” Perry joked at that event.
Perry was scheduled to fly to New York this afternoon for fundraisers as well as dinner with real estate mogul Donald Trump.
“We’re just going to be talking about how to create jobs in America. Donald Trump’s pretty good about creating jobs,” Perry said. “I gotta think The Donald’s got some advice for me.”