Rick Perry photo

Remarks to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation in Atlanta

September 30, 2011

Good morning. Before I get started this morning, I want to congratulate the United States military and intelligence communities, and President Obama, for sticking with the government's longstanding and aggressive anti-terror policies in getting another key international terrorist.

The death of American-raised al Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki is an important victory in the war on terror.

Ten years after 9/11 the brave men and women of our military and intelligence services continue to take the fight to the enemy.

Al-Awlaki was the next-generation of al Qaida who spread his message of violence and hate over the Internet. His death will be a serious setback for their organization.

Al-Awlaki was instrumental in the radicalization of Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, as well as other domestic terror plots. We must remain vigilant, and make sure we bring every resource and tool to bear in the fight to keep Americans safe.

I'm pleased to be with you for a few minutes this morning. Over the next several weeks, I will be laying out important public policy initiatives to get America working again.

Today, I want to spend a few minutes updating you on the state of our nation and this critical race for the White House.

It is great to be in Georgia with men and women who are helping to advance the conservative movement in America today.

It is good to be with your fine speaker of the House, David Ralston.

I spoke to my wife, Anita, on the way over here, and she told me to avoid saying anything controversial.

I told her, "don't worry honey, I don't plan to discuss my Aggies joining the SEC."

And I'm certainly not going to brag on the Texas Rangers in front of Braves fans.

But hey, in my home state, we have two teams, not one, and neither of them have won a World Series title.

I want to commend the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and your president Kelly McCutchen, for taking such a proactive role in developing research-based, conservative public policy.

What we are seeing in America today is a conservative awakening — a revival born out of a deep concern that liberals have used the machinery of the federal government to impose a nanny state that limits our freedom and that targets free enterprise.

Americans are tired of command and control government from central planners in Washington, and they are tired of the empty promises about creating jobs and cutting the deficit.

We were promised the stimulus plan would create three and a half million jobs, but the harsh reality is we have lost two and a half million jobs.

We were told by Candidate Obama that previous deficits were unpatriotic. But since then he has doubled them.

Now the president is offering a second round of massive spending cloaked as stimulus, expecting better results with the same strategy.

But we know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing all over again and expecting different results.

You don't stimulate the economy by growing bureaucracy.

You stimulate the economy by growing the take-home pay of American workers and American enterprise.

What this economy needs at this moment in time is investor confidence.

But employers are smart enough to know that temporary tax relief paid for with permanent tax hikes will not lead to greater economic certainty, but instead a larger permanent bureaucracy that "spreads the wealth."

And employers know that the promise of temporary tax relief does nothing to relieve them of the growing regulatory burden of this Administration's policies.

In 2010, the Obama Administration implemented 43 new regulations that cost businesses more than $26 billion in this country.

A story came out this week that major American employers find it easier to do business in China than America.

Think about that. When a communist country has less bureaucratic red tape than America, our nation is off track.

The problem we confront today is a Washington that is broken.

One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job.

Forty-five million Americans are on food stamps.

Our credit has been downgraded. And our debt has exploded.

It's time for a change.

And when I say change, I don't mean the rhetoric of change, but a record of change.

I believe I have that record.

My home state has not only created forty percent of the new jobs in America since June 2009, but our credit rating went up that year too.

As governor I have led based on a few guiding principles.

Don't spend all the money. Keep taxes low.

Keep regulations fair and predictable. And reform the legal system to create jobs.

In 2003, our state was hemorrhaging doctors because of medical malpractice suits.

So we put forward a reform plan that included $250,000 caps on non-economic damages in medical liability suits.

Today I am proud to say Texas has licensed more than 23,000 new doctors.

Pregnant women have better access to OB-GYNs.

People in need of trauma care have better access to neurosurgeons and other specialists.

We spread lawsuit reform across all economic sectors.

Our class action reforms now require lawyers to be paid in coupons if the plaintiffs are paid in coupons.

And just this last session, we passed a new "losers pay" law to further clamp down on frivolous lawsuits.

Eliminating the hidden tax posed by lawsuit reform is critical to economic growth.

Perhaps nothing could do more to give employers certainty, however, than to stop the mad dash of federal regulations that kill jobs in America today.

If President Obama is serious about improving the job climate, he will do more than intervene on a few EPA rules, he will freeze all proposed federal regulations for six months starting today.

If this president wants to get America working again, he will junk the maze of new regulations, agencies and programs created under Obamacare.

As Republican voters decide who is best suited to lead this country in a new direction by stopping the spending spree and scrapping Obamacare, I am confident they will choose a nominee who has governed on conservative principles, not one whose healthcare policies paved the way for Obamacare, a path blazed with higher premium costs and thousands of lost jobs.

I have a lengthy record, and it has sometimes ruffled feathers. But sometimes you have to shake up the system.

I'm not running from my record.

Take the issue of environmental policy.

In Texas, we've cleaned the air while creating jobs and adding millions in population.

Another state - Massachusetts - was among the first states to implement its own cap and trade program, which included limits on carbon emissions for power plants.

The former Executive Officer for Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts today oversees air quality in President Obama's EPA.

A Harvard professor who helped draft carbon reduction rules in Massachusetts is today the "science czar" for President Obama.

I knew when I got into this race I would have my hands full fighting President Obama's big government agenda. I just didn't think it would be in the Republican Primary.

Americans are clamoring to hit the reset button.

They don't want more of the same, they want a new direction.

We don't have to settle for our current circumstances. We will change them. We're Americans!

We will roll up our sleeves and get America working again!

And before I leave, I will make you two promises.

One, on my first day in office I will repeal as much of Obamacare as possible by executive order.

And two, I will make Washington as inconsequential in your lives as I can!

Let's take our country back, not by compromising our principles, but by advancing them.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

Rick Perry, Remarks to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation in Atlanta Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/298084

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