Former Texas governor Rick Perry might have been the most comfortable speaker at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in Nashville Friday.
Maybe it’s the comfort of having run for president once already, the reassurance that comes from experience. Perhaps he’s feeling good as the only candidate in the field with military experience, and a solid economic record in his state, and some surprises like bold steps in criminal-justice reform. Perhaps it’s the confidence in knowing he would be speaking to a friendly crowd. Or maybe it’s his hipster glasses.
Whatever the reason, Perry came out on the stage and greeted the applause with a “HOO-A!” before tearing into the president and touting his own record with a smile. After his tentative, stumbling, “oops”-marred 2012 White House run, the former governor of Texas now looks like he’s having fun out on the stump.
“We do not believe the Constitution is a cafeteria plan,” Perry said early in his speech. “You don’t get to pick and choose the ones you like and discard the ones that are inconvenient to your liberal agenda! Every word of the Bill of Rights is sacred, and that includes the First, Second, and Tenth amendments!”Perry boasted that he signed the castle doctrine into law, and said, with another smile, “I hung out the ‘open for business’ sign for gun manufacturers, those who had been targeted by the liberal governors of other states.” O. F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. left Connecticut for Texas, and Magpul Industries moved to the Lone Star State from Colorado.
Perry’s Texas twang seemed to be dialed up a notch for his address in Nashville, as he derided “the delusional thinkin’, from the Left and our president, where criminals will obey gun laws, terrorist nations will honor their agreements on nuclear arms, and radical groups like ISIS are not religious.”
Perry also earned a roaring, sustained standing ovation for his declaration that “homeland security starts with border security!” and a reference to his decision to deploy the Texas National Guard along the border.
“It’s gonna be a ‘show me, don’t tell me’ election,” Perry said, before teasing, “It might surprise some of you, but I’ve been thinking about this upcoming election.”
— Jim Geraghty writes the Campaign Spot on NationalReview.com.