Perry does the Fair (audio)

“Good morning, Iowa,” Perry’s wife, Anita, said to the crowd as she took the mic to introduce her husband, Texas Governor Rick Perry, at The Des Moines Register’s Soapbox on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. 

The first lady of Texas said she’d been asked whether she’s go back to Texas and tell folks down there the Iowa State Fair is better than the Texas State Fair.  She did not make that pledge, but said something nice about her husband instead.

“Every year that I’ve known him, he only gets better,” she said, praising her husband for making “tough” decisions as governor. “I ask you to take a good look at him.”

Perry is behind the mic @ 11:08 a.m.  Perry thanked his wife.  He introduces his children.

“I was trying to figure out how to get this hay back to Texas,” Perry joked, referring to the bales of hay that decorate the Soapbox stage.  He talked about the “monster drought” back in his state. “Keep our old Texas farmers in your prayers,” Perry said.  “…You all got it goin’ on here.”

He talked a little biography, got to his college years at Texas A&M University, and a heckler started up in the crowd. “That may not be an Aggie over there.  He may not be an Aggie fan,” Perry said, to laughter from the crowd.

It’s Veterans Day at the Fair, and Perry next covers his military background. “I volunteered to go into the Air Force,” Perry said.  He praised the current generation of soldiers as “just as self-less, just as sacrificial” as the WWII generation, so “a guy like me can stand up on the Soapbox.”  

“We don’t need anybody apologizing anywhere in this world about America,” he said, to a large burst of applause. “I get a little bit passionate…I think you want a president who is passionate about America, that’s in love with America.”

“…I know what this country needs. We need to get Americans back workin’…and I’m really proud of what we’ve done in Texas over the last decade.”

He said it’s time to get government “out of the way.”

“Let the private sector do what the private sector knows how to do,” he said.

Perry next mentioned President Obama’s bus tour, which will bring Obama into northeast Iowa later today. “He’s comin’ into Iowa in a little bit…He says he’s on a listening tour, so I’m going to talk to him.”

Perry used words like obscene, crazy and idiotic to describe a couple of proposed federal regulations.  He next blasted the president’s visit to Brazil.

“What kind of nonsense is that. We need to have an American-first theory in our government. We need to be helpin’ the United States. We need to be freein’ this country from over-taxation, over-regulation, over-litigation.”

Perry described himself as a “pro-business governor” and promised to be a “pro-business president.”

“Getting America back to work is the most important issue that faces this country,” he said., saying the country’s economy would “absolutely take off like a rocket” if his ideas are implemented.

He denounced “faceless bureaucrats” who makes decisions about education and health care policy. 

He promised to issue an executive order on day one, if he’s elected president.

“I’ll wipe out as much of ObamaCare as I can,” he said, to wild applause. He said states should take over and provide “better…chearper health care than Washington ever could.”

Perry at this point said: “I don’t see a hook yet, so I’m gonna keep goin’…We know this is a long haul, but we love this country.  I love it enough that I leave the great state of Texas to come and serve this country one more time.” 

He praised a group of NRA folks in the front row, calling them “Second Amendent boys.” He said he carried a gun while “jogging with my daughter’s dog” so “if a coyote jumps out, I can take care of him.”  That got laughter and applause.

He returned to his theme, comparing his roots to rural Iowa. “This is like goin’ home for me. Rural, small town farming and ranching people…Great backbone of America…who still believe in this country,” Perry said.  “…I want to say God bless you. God bless Iowa and God bless the United States of America.”

Rick Perry at State Fair Soapbox

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.