UPDATE: Rick Perry’s speaking style proves to be no more dynamic than his debating style, which surprises me. Even from a prepared script, his delivery was flat and awkward and didn’t exactly light the conservative audience at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center afire.
According to officials with the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Perry had agreed to use the podium to discuss policy issues and not as a forum for attacking fellow Republicans. The Texas governor did not abide by that agreement, taking several shots at fellow frontrunner Mitt Romney.
Without actually naming Romney, Perry took issue with a certain governor from Massachusetts whose health-care plan “paved the way for ObamaCare” and who signed into law a regional cap-and-trade system to address climate change.
“I knew when I got into this race that I’d have my hands full fighting President Obama’s big-government agenda,” he said. “I just didn’t think it would be in the Republican primary.”
Perry also cited news reports in which the CEO of a major American corporation had said that it had become easier to do business in China than in the United States. He didn’t happen to mention that the CEO in question was Muhtar Kent of Coca Cola, a company with a rather high profile in these parts. It’s the kind of small but telling oversight that reflects poor staff work and a campaign and candidate not yet ready for prime time.
According to Perry staff, the governor will spend the rest of the day in Atlanta at fundraisers before flying to New Hampshire for a town hall meeting.
I’m at the Cobb Galleria waiting to hear Texas Gov. Rick Perry speak to the conservative Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s legislative policy conference. A lot of curiosity about the man and his message, although he’s only scheduled for 15 minutes. This is an important audience for someone without a large organization in Georgia. An audition, you might say.
- Jay Bookman