@ Polk GOP picnic: Rick Perry

Texas Governor Rick Perry is the second presidential candidate to speak at the Polk County GOP’s picnic this evening.  The master of ceremonies, WHO Radio’s Simon Conway, began by reading a letter from a veteran who cannot be here tonight.  That veteran, Will Gormley (spelling on his last name a guess)  praised Perry’s “heat-seeking comments” in his letter and asked Conway to give Perry a 1911 holster.

“‘It’s named after the year is was first made by Colt and this is the centennial year for the 1911,” Perry advised the crowd.   He gestured toward a John Deere tractor parked right outside the bar.

“I just want to take a moment. I learned to drive on an A model John Deere.  That’s a poppin’ Johnny right here…so God Bless John Deere. They have helped feed the world. We just need a little rain down in Texas so we can do our part,” Perry said.

Perry talked about his ag roots and he thanked Iowans who have organized a shipment of hay to drought-striken Texas livestock farmers.

Perry said Iowa has “lost 12,100  jobs” since Obama took office.  Today one in eight Iowans are on food stamps, he said. “That is a testament to the widespread misery…that the state known for feeding the world has so many residents dependent on government.”

Perry mentioned US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack’s recent statement about food stamps.  The crowd booed.

“Food stamps are not the solution. They are the symptom of the problem that too many people are without work.  Food stamps don’t stimulate the economy,” Perry said. “They stimulate government dependence.”

“…President Obama did inherit a bad economy, but to his fault he made it worse. He delivered trickle-down bureaucracy…to hand-picked industries to create temporary jobs. Instead of eliminating our economic crisis, he worsened it…It is time for change…The point is not to brag. The point is to say we can, we must do better and when I’m president we will.”

The crowd applauded. “I’m not talking about the rhetoric of change. I’m talking about the record of change.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

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