WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - In a ballroom full of supporters and volunteers, Texas Gov. Rick Perry rallied his troops on this caucus morning as volunteers prepared to spread out across Iowa for that final, extra push.
"This election is about stopping a president of the United States and his administration that is abusing the Constitution of this country, that is putting America on a track to bankruptcy, and folks, we're going to take America back. That's what this is about," Perry told the crowd as it gave him a standing ovation. "It is a powerful moment in America's history, and you are on the front lines. This is Concord, this is Omaha Beach. This is going up the hill realizing that the battle is worth winning."
Perry and his wife, Anita, thanked volunteers from Iowa and across the country for devoting their time to promoting the Texas governor.
"This is about sacrificing. One of the reasons Anita and I wanted to come here this morning is to say thank you. Every man and woman in here is sacrificing your time, your treasure, your reputation, but you're doing it because you love this country. That is what gets us up every day, gives us the courage, the fortitude, the focus to go do what we have done for the last almost six months. It's because we, like you, we love this country," Perry said.
Anita Perry, who introduced her husband, teared up as she conveyed her gratitude to the volunteers.
"I can hardly stand it when I see all of you, without crying, which you know my children tell me not to do," Anita Perry said as she started to cry.
The Texas first lady joked that she had some housekeeping to do as she held up a red folder with Perry stickers plastered across its side, which a volunteer had left behind.
"I found this packet in the coffee room. Someone left it, and you're supposed to be going to Kingwood, Cardinal, Ollywood, so get your packet!"
The Perry campaign had signed up between 1,300 to 1,500 precinct leaders across Iowa, and more than 500 volunteers from 32 states traveled to the Hawkeye State in the days before the caucuses. Bob Haus, Perry's Iowa state chairman, said the volunteers had made 50,000 phone calls, including 10,000 on Monday alone, and knocked on more than 1,000 doors.
Following a morning training meeting, the volunteers, whom Perry called his A-Team, will spread out across the state after hearing one final word of encouragement from the Texas governor.
"All of you are the A-Team, and that's what Anita and I wanted to come here today and just say thank you. God bless you. Thank you for loving your country. Thank you for sacrificing what you're sacrificing to be here because this is truly the reflection of America. This is what has made this country great, men and women who were willing sacrifice, give up something, to give back," Perry said.
"I'm truly the luckiest man in the world, because I was born into this great country with parents who understood the values of faith and family and freedom, and folks we are today starting to put America back on the track of those three principles that will make America great again. God Bless you and thank you for coming and being here. On to victory!"