Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent today campaigning in New Hampshire, hammering away at his message that “over-taxation, over-regulation, and over-litigation” are hurting business and the U.S. economy, but he also advocated for a larger government role in the war on drugs.
At a house party in Manchester, Perry said that ending the drug war in Mexico “may require our military in Mexico.”
“The way that we were able to stop the drug cartels in Colombia was with a coordinated effort,” Perry said. “It may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and to keep them off of our border and to destroy their networks. I don’t know all the scenarios that are out there but I think it is very important that we work with them, to keep that country from failing.”
The comments raise questions about whether the governor would support military action by executive order. Perry has long supported sending U.S. troops to Mexico to help with the drug war.
Over and over Perry said that as president he would be sure to shrink the role of Washington, D.C., in the lives of Americans.
Complete with colorful props, Perry vowed to do away with as much of the health care law passed by Congress — what he referred to as “Obamacare” — as he could. At one stop he pulled out the Sharpie he said he would use to sign it away. At another stop, he pulled out his pocket Constitution, saying that “Obamacare” wasn’t in there.
At every stop, Perry was questioned about the Texas bill giving out-of-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants. He said it was a state solution to a state problem and that as president, he would uphold the 10th Amendment. He said that he did not support the Dream Act.
Many seemed satisfied with Perry’s justification for signing the Texas bill. Bill Connors, who first asked the governor about his stance, said he came to the town hall in Hampton sure that he would not be voting for Perry. But based on Perry’s justification, he said he was now “thinking about it.”
When questioned about his stance on global warming, Perry reiterated that he’s a “skeptic.”
“The issue is, are we as Americans going to jeopardize the future of this country economically, by putting into place a program that there are still enough skeptics in my book, to stand with them, and say, you know what, I don’t believe that man-made global warming is settled in science enough for us to justify an economic impact on this country that could be devastating for the future,” he said.
But on the subject of off-shore drilling, he said, “We have to be thoughtful; we use science on how we protect our environment. But we’ve got to get back to drilling.”
Asked about American manufacturing and bringing jobs back to the United States, Perry said it was cap-and-trade policies that were causing companies to go overseas and do business.
Perry also revealed that he was consulting with Steve Forbes regarding his economic and monetary policy. Perry and Forbes met during Perry’s recent trip to New York.
“I think at the end of the day, Perry will win the nomination, and I think he’ll win the election,” Forbes said.
ABC News’ Michael Falcone contributed to this article.