Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday announced his second bid for the Republican nomination for president in a speech that focused on foreign policy and highlighted his service in the Air Force.
Perry, the 10th Republican to join the race, will be one of just two veterans vying for the Republican nomination, and he has made that a major selling point.
Flanked on stage by veterans including Marcus Luttrell, subject of the movie and book Lone Survivor; Taya Kyle, the wife of American Sniper Chris Kyle; and Mike Thornton, a medal of honor recipient, Perry delivered remarks that were heavy on foreign policy.
“No decision has done more harm than the president’s withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. … America had won the war. But our president failed to secure the peace,” Perry said.
‘This will be a “show-me, don’t tell me” election, where voters look past the rhetoric to the real record.’
“How callous it seems now as cities once secured with American blood are now being taken by America’s enemies, all because of a campaign slogan,” he went on.
The speech also focused on his record as governor, one he described as getting things done.
“This will be a ‘show-me, don’t tell me’ election, where voters look past the rhetoric to the real record,” Perry said. “The question of every candidate will be this one: ‘when have you led?’”
#related#“Leadership is not a speech on the Senate floor. It’s not what you say, it’s what you do,” Perry said, in a shot at the four senators already in the race, including his fellow Texan Ted Cruz.
Perry has an uphill climb to the nomination. He will first have to convince voters that he deserves a second look, after his initially lauded candidacy imploded after just five months in 2012.
–Alexis Levinson is senior political reporter for National Review.