The Corner

Perry Jabs Romney in Policy Speech

In his policy speech today in Georgia, Rick Perry made sure to target Mitt Romney, although he did not mention his rival by name.

“I knew when I got into this race I would have my hands full fighting President Obama’s big government agenda. I just didn’t think it would be in the Republican Primary,” Perry said — remarks that were underlined in the copy of the speech provided by the Perry campaign (and were the only sentences underlined in the entire speech).

Perry also hit Romney on health-care.

“As Republican voters decide who is best suited to lead this country in a new direction by stopping the spending spree and scrapping Obamacare,” Perry said, “I am confident they will choose a nominee who has governed on conservative principles, not one whose healthcare policies paved the way for Obamacare, a path blazed with higher premium costs and thousands of lost jobs.”

Speaking about environmental policy, Perry chose Massachusetts as the state to contrast with Texas. “In Texas, we’ve cleaned the air while creating jobs and adding millions in population,” he remarked. “Another state – Massachusetts – was among the first states to implement its own cap and trade program, which included limits on carbon emissions for power plants.”

However, cap-and-trade in Massachusetts was not implemented by Mitt Romney, who flirted with doing so, but ultimately decided not to involve the state in the cap-and-trade initiative. (More details on that here.) It was Democratic governor Deval Patrick who launched Massachusetts’s  participation in a cap-and-trade program.

At the beginning of his speech, Perry congratulated President Obama for his work leading to the death of Anwar al-Awlaki. “The death of American-raised al Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki is an important victory in the war on terror,” Perry said. 

Full speech at Primary Event.

UPDATE: The Romney campaign highlighted Perry’s mention of cap-and-trade in Massachusetts as a lie. “IN PEACH STATE, RICK PERRY HAS A PINOCCHIO PROBLEM,” was the headline of an e-mail sent out by the Romney campaign in reference to Perry’s speech. 

“Governor Perry is desperate to shift attention away from his liberal policies that encourage illegal immigration. His repeated use of distortions and fabrications on the campaign trail shows that Rick Perry can’t be trusted to tell the truth,” said Romney spokesperson Ryan Williams. 

However, Perry did say Massachusetts — not Mitt Romney — when he made the comments about cap-and-trade, so his remarks were not inaccurate.

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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