PELLA, Iowa – Sporting the black cowboy boots he has rarely worn on the campaign trail, Texas Gov. Rick Perry brought his economic and energy message to Iowa this morning, expressing his commitment to utilize the energy sector to reinvigorate hiring in this country.
“I want to talk about the jobs plan first, about getting Americans back to work on the energy side of things without having to go to Congress, without asking anything, signing my name to executive orders and to executive actions,” Perry said at the National Association of Manufacturers Presidential Forum, moderated by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.
“You can open these Western lands for the energy side of things and putting some people back to work almost immediately.”
Perry described himself as “an all-of-the-above energy guy” and criticized the federal government for providing subsidies to the energy sector.
“From Washington, D.C., I do not think it is the federal government’s business to be picking winners and losers, frankly, in any of our energy sources. I mean, these two solar debacles that we’ve seen are pretty good examples of that, but if a state wants to, we put into place in the state of Texas an incentive for renewables and the wind energy came in and took great advantage of. That’s the reason we became the number one energy producing state in the country.”
As he tries to reboot his campaign by directing voters’ attention to his job-creation record, Perry promoted his new tax plan unveiled last week, which provides an optional 20-percent flat tax and a 20-percent income tax, vowing it would put more money in the pockets of ordinary Americans.
“Washington corporate lobbyists are going to hate me as the president of the United States. I’m going to take a wrecking ball to that corporate tax code and, frankly, the personal tax code as well.” Perry said. ”Let’s quit penalizing Americans for making money. Quit fighting this fight that we’re fighting on divisions between those that have money and those that don’t. I want everybody to have more money, and my tax plans do that, and that’s what the American president needs to be doing.
“In Texas or in Iowa or whatever state it is, we know that the way that you create jobs is by not overtaxing, over-regulating, or over-litigating,” Perry said. “It’s worked in the state of Texas for a decade. I think we’re the 15th largest economy in the world. If it’ll work in Texas, it’ll work in this country.”
When discussing the need to enhance the skilled work force in this country, Perry delved into the high cost of higher education and touted an idea he promoted in February to develop bachelor degree programs that only cost $10,000.
“I think it’s costing way too much money for a young person to go through four years of college. We have allowed way too much cost to creep into the cost of tuition,” Perry said. ”I laid out an idea this last year that we ought to be able to deliver a degree that costs $10,000, total. Now there were a whole lot of people whose jaws hit the ground, and most of them are working on college campuses, but the fact is we ought to really be bringing it home that we’re charging way too much money for the education we’re giving our kids.”
Perry’s campaign launched its first advertising campaign in the Hawkeye state last week, selling his economic record in Texas with two separate ads. Perry, who is on his seventh trip to Iowa, placed fifth in a statewide poll released by the Des Moines Register Saturday.
Perry will hold a meet and greet at Drake’s Diner in Des Moines later today, followed by an education and economic town hall in the afternoon.