It’s been a crazy day on the campaign trail in Iowa as all the candidates are hitting it hard. I’m at the Pattee Hotel in Perry where Rick Perry will take the stage momentarily. Right now, country music legend Larry Gatlin is entertaining the crowd. The room is filling up. There’s about 100 here so far and folks are still filing in.
6:23 Larry Gatlin is now singing Rick Perry’s praises. Perry is taking the stage now. It’s a little early. Supposed to start at 6:30. BTW, Gatlin told a story early about being from Odessa, TX, the same home town of Hawkeye football coaching legend Hayden Fry. That got some big cheers from the crowd.
6:25 – Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal taking the stage now.
6:26 – No doubt, Rick Perry has the best surrogates with him today. Jindal: “This election is about the direction and future of these great United States of America. We are blessed to live in the greatest nation in the history of the world…”
6:27 – Jindal: “Rick Perry has cut taxes over 14 times…There has never been a society, state.. that has taxes its way into prosperity.”
6:28 – I estimate the crowd size at about 175.
Jindal: “Rick Perry’s not just talking about it (creating jobs). He’s actually done it in the state of Texas…. It’s time to put America back to work. That’s why we need Rick Perry in the White House.”
6:30 Jindal is a much better speaker without the teleprompter. If not for his disastrous rebuttal to Obama a few years ago, he might have been in the field this year. He’s got a bright future in the GOP, though.
6:31 – Jindal: “I have seen first hand Rick Perry’s ability to handle crisis….Now is not the time for on the job training.”
6:33 – Jindal is wrapping up now. He is handing it over to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Wow. All-star lineup.
6:34 – Brownback: “Great to be in Iowa… “. Telling story about when he first met Perry he was running against liberal Jim Hightower for Texas Ag Commissioner.
6:35 – Brownback says Perry has taken on Washington repeatedly and will do it as president. “This is a guy that’s got the batting average. When you’re going to pick a player, you want somebody who has produced…. Finally, this is a guy when he called on the United States to pray… (crowd applauds and some Amens)
6:36 – Brownback starts “Perry, Perry” chant and introduced Rick Perry.
6:37 – Perry’s lieutenant governor is also here, along with lots of family members, including his wife Anita. Perry is joking about Jindal and Brownback.
6:38 – Perry says he’s going to win the Iowa Caucus tomorrow.
6:39 – Perry: “What this country needs is a president and a congress that will work with that president to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution…. Perry talking about part-time Congress. “Send them back home to have a real job..”
6:40 – Perry says the Texas legislature works 140 days every other year and his state operates the 13th largest economy in the world.
6:41 – Perry: “Seriously, Mr. President. You can’t print more money.”
6:42 – Perry: “No president should ever apologize for America.” Crowd member says “Damn straight.” LOL.
6:43 – Perry honors the veterans in the audience and talks about his service in the Air Force. He’s also recognizing two veterans who are with him here today. A Navy Seal who was outnumbered in a firefight in Afghanistan, Navy Cross recipient Marcus Lutrell. He has an amazing story.
6:44 – The other veteran here with Perry today is Dan Moran. He’s been through 30 plus surgeries from injuries suffered in Iraq. “He’s one of the great patriots and Christian brothers I’ve got.” ENORMOUS applause for him.
6:47 Perry: “When the CEO of Coca Cola says its easier to do business in China than it is in the United States, you don’t need a playbook to understand that Mr. President. Cut the regulations!”
6:48 Perry’s fired up today. Says John Deere is facing a ridiculous regulation coming up soon.
6:49 – Perry: “It’s time to do away with the Dept. of Education in Washington, D.C.”. More big applause. I wonder if he’ll remember energy.
6:50 – Perry: “I’m so honored to have heroes like Marcus and Dan stand up and say, ‘We’re for this guy’.
6:51 – Perry: “Why would you settle for anything but an authentic conservative who shares your views and values…”
6:52 – Perry: “It’s states that should be making the decisions about educating our children, providing healthcare, taking care of the environment…”
6:53 – Perry says he’ll wipe out as much of ObamaCare as he can on his first in the Oval Office.
6:54 – Perry is really on tonight. If we had seen this guy throughout the campaign, he would have a shot to win tomorrow night.
6:55 – Now talking about the prophet Isaiah. “Isaiah said, ‘Here I am. Send me.”” .
6:55 – Perry: “I’ll make you a promise. You have my back tomorrow at the caucuses and I’ll have your back for the next four years in Washington, D.C.” Big applause and that wraps up the speech.
6:57 – The crowd is filing out. Perry is trying to make his exit. This was a good event for him. Not an enormous crowd, but pretty good. 175-200. He definitely fired some people up. Governor Jindal is posing for pictures with people.
6:58 – Thanks for reading. Join our live webcast coming up in just a minute here on TheIowaRepublican.com.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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