Kicking off CPAC’s second day, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a not-yet-full auditorium that “our country is in peril” and “it’s time for a little rebellion on the battlefield of ideas.”
“Nowhere does the Constitution say we should federalize classrooms,” said Perry. “Nowhere does it give federal officials primary responsibility over the air we breathe, the land we farm, the water we drink. And nowhere,” he added to applause, “does it say Congress has the right to federalize healthcare.”
Much of Perry’s speech was devoted to celebrating the successes of red state governors like Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker and himself (not mentioned: Chris Christie), and contrasting their states with those ruled by Democrats. A U-Haul, said Perry, costs “twice as much to go San Francisco to Austin,” because “you can’t find enough trucks to flee the golden state.”
Perry bemoaned “the downgrading of our credit for the first time,” which he blamed on politicians “fighting over a few million in spending cuts while our debt has soared by trillions,” and warned of the dangers of “unreformed entitlement programs.” Perry did suggest he opposes one proposed austerity measure: Postal Service management’s attempts to institute five-day delivery. Urging Washington to “focus on the few things the Constitution establishes as the federal government’s role,” Perry ticked off a list that ended with, “What the heck: deliver the mail, preferably on time, and on Saturdays.”
Echoing several of CPAC’s Thursday speakers, Perry asked, “How can we appease a Syrian tyrant and embolden his Russian ally without the bill coming due,” but did not offer further prescriptions for policy toward either country.