Texas Governor Rick Perry got a little help from his neighbor yesterday on the campaign trail. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal joined Perry on his bus tour as he campaigned in Maquoketa, De Witt, Clinton and Davenport. Big crowds throughout the eastern Iowa swing greeted the pair of high-profile governors.
At each of the events, Jindal opened the event by telling the audience why he wants Perry to be the next occupant of the White House. Jindal listed five reasons why he is backing Perry:
1. Perry has a specific plan to cut taxes.
2. Perry has a detailed plan to balance the budget and reduce spending.
3. Perry understands that over regulating and an over reaching government costs jobs.
4. Perry wants to produce more energy here in America.
5. Perry has the executive experience – no on the job training.
In making his fifth point, Jindal recalled a situation where a major hurricane was bearing down on his state. The state of Louisiana needed help to evacuate people in hospitals before the storm would close the airspace. Jindal said he called Perry on Saturday night to ask for assistance, and that the planes from Texas were the first to arrive. He said that Perry didn’t ask if FEMA had signed off on operation. Instead, the Texas governor acted swiftly in a time of crisis.
Perry seemed invigorated by having Jindal at his side on Tuesday. Perry has struggled to live up to the hype of candidate that surrounded him when he entered the race. That wasn’t the case on Tuesday. Perry was relaxed as he campaigned in eastern Iowa and seemed to really connect with those who came out to see him.
MAQUOKETA: Perry Strong On State’s Rights – Weak On His Own Tax Plan
When answering a question about the federal Department of Education, Perry said that he was “offended” by the idea that the federal government has to set standards for the states to follow. The notion that the federal government, not a state, is the only one that can look out for the best interests of young people clearly disgusted him.
Perry then used the question to transition into why he’s a strong believer in the 10th Amendment. He turned to Governor Jindal and said that Jindal is one of the smartest governor’s in America, and then rattled off Jindal’s background. He then said people should want leaders like Jindal out there coming up with ideas and competing with other states.
Perry admitted that he and Jindal are competing against one another in convincing businesses to locate in their states. He also said that other neighboring governors are also doing all they can to make their states more competitive. Competition is a good thing, he said. If someone like Governor Jindal comes up with a good idea, other states can implement it themselves.
Perry also mentioned that if a state wants to raise taxes by 66 percent on businesses like Illinois did last year, that’s fine too. Just know that he and Jindal are going to be knocking on businesses’ doors trying to get them to relocate in their states. Perry also talked about his support of states’ rights on other issues not related to the economy. He said that some liberal states are going to pass all sorts of laws that might not agree with your values. If you want to live in California that’s fine, but it’s your choice.
Perry’s flat tax plan was also questioned in Maquoketa. An older lady sitting near the front of the room wanted to know if she would keep her standard deduction under Perry’s flat tax proposal. Perry began to rattle off the various taxes the woman probably pays, then stopped and said he didn’t think they should do her taxes in front of everybody, to which the crowd laughed.
The woman then she asked again if she would be able to keep her standard deduction, and Perry eventually told her no. He then listed the various deductions that were allowed under his plan but said that if she wanted to keep the standard deduction she would need to stay in the current system, which people are allowed to do.
It became obvious that Perry had misspoken about his own tax plan when Governor Jindal, who was sitting in a chair next to the fireplace, spoke up and told the Perry that the woman would keep her standard deduction in his flat tax plan. Perry responded by saying, “Thank you for correcting me on that Governor, not that I ever make a mistake. It’s always good to have Bobby here to correct me.” Then Perry added that under his plan, the standard deduction was increased to $12,500.
Perry handled the situation well by injecting a little humor in to the situation. When asked about his tax plan later on in the day Perry stuck to the basics and told people to go to his website if they want specifics.
CLINTON – Perry will Secure The Boarder With Mexico In First 12 Months
Perry’s stop in Clinton was very similar to his Maquoketa event. However, in Clinton, Perry talked about the immigration issue. The topic of illegal immigration has been an area where Perry has been criticized. On the campaign train in Iowa recently, he has done a much better job dealing with the topic. He finally seems to be able to drive the debate on his own terms.
Perry was clearly frustrated by the inability of the federal government to secure the boarder with Mexico. As Governor of Texas, Perry said that his state has spent $400 million tying to secure the boarder because of the failure of the federal government. He then said that in the first 12 months of his presidency, he would have the boarder secured, which is the first thing that must be done in to fight the problem of illegal immigration.
DAVENPORT – Perry ends his day with a big crowd.
About 200 people showed up at Perry’s final stop in Davenport. TheIowaRepublican.com only briefly stopped in at the event before heading out to catch up with other candidates. Perry’s trip through eastern Iowa showed that he is generating plenty of interest during his bus tour. All of the events were well attended, planned out, and on time.
Having waited until the last minute to aggressively campaign across Iowa is something that the Perry campaign may come to regret. Clearly, people are still interested, but he might have done more good for his campaign had they campaigned like this sooner. Still, Perry’s campaign has to be happy with what they are seeing across Iowa. Only time will tell if their last minute surge will pay off.
Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com
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