COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa - After a four day hiatus from the campaign trail, Texas Gov. Rick Perry restarted his bus tour through Iowa, pounding his opponents for their Washington and Wall Street "insider" status and selling himself as the "authentic conservative" in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
"Why should you settle for anything less than an authentic conservative who will fight for your views and values without an apology? Why should you have to settle for anything less than the real deal to go to Washington DC and to represent your values and work for you in Washington," Perry asked the crowd of over 100 at the jam packed Main Street Café here.
"I've got all the respect in the world for the frontrunners in this race, but ask yourself: If we replace a Democratic insider with a Republican insider, you think we're really going to change Washington DC?" Perry asked.
Without naming names, Perry listed the issues plaguing many of the candidates.
"You don't have to settle for Washington and Wall Street insiders who supported the Wall Street bailout and Obamacare individual mandate. You don't have to resign yourself to voting for wasteful Washington spending culture of earmarks and of deficits and this ever rising debt that we've got," said Perry. "You don't have to vote for a candidate who would allow Iran to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and then ultimately America. You don't have to you don't have to stand for that. You don't have to settle for that."
"I'm the limited government conservative in this campaign that's going to get Washington a complete overhaul. I believe that the federal government should do a few things, do those few things real well, and get out of the way and leave Americans alone."
With the controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio standing at his side, Perry focused a good portion of his quick six minute speech on border security, drawing large applause from the crowd when he vowed to secure the border within one year of taking office.
"Here's my pledge to you: We will secure that border. We will shut it down within one year after my hand comes off of that Bible," said Perry to a boom of applause from the crowd.
The Texas governor promoted his part-time Congress initiative, a plan that's drawn cheers from Iowa voters in the past two weeks. But in a twist from his other events, Perry injected a Biblical tone into his speech.
"When the Lord asked the prophet Isaiah, he said. 'Whom shall I send and who will go for us?' Isaiah said 'Here am I, send me,'" said Perry. "This is your country. Taking her back is your calling. Join me in this mission. Echo the words of Isaiah: Here am I, send me."
Perry, who has three other events in Iowa this afternoon, ended his speech with what has become the closing mantra in his pitch to Iowa voters, pledging to them, "You have my back on January the third and I'll have your back for the next four years in Washington, D.C."