Texas Gov. Rick Perry heads for Cobb County this morning, where he’ll deliver what’s being billed as his first domestic policy speech as a presidential candidate — and accuse rival Mitt Romney of governing Massachusetts the same way President Barack Obama has governed the nation.
Shannon McCaffery of the Associated Press has been slipped some highlights of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 10 a.m. address before the Georgia Public Policy Foundation:
“As Republican voters decide who is best suited to lead this country in a new direction by stopping the spending spree and scrapping Obamacare, I am confident they will choose a nominee who has governed on conservative principles, not one whose health care policies paved the way for Obamacare,” Perry says, according to prepared remarks….
Perry contrasts Romney’s plan with the medical malpractice reform he signed as governor of Texas, and argues that both Romney and Obama have governed more liberally than he has.
“What we are seeing in America today is a conservative awakening, a revival born out of a deep concern that liberals have used the machinery of the federal government to impose a nanny state that limits our freedom and that targets free enterprise,” he says.
“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 adds.
The address signals that Perry plans to continue aggressively attacking his chief rival even as he faces some stumbling blocks in his own campaign. After a shaky debate performance, Perry admitted that he used “inappropriate” language when he called Republican rivals “heartless.” Perry was defending a Texas law that allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state universities if they meet certain criteria.
As part of the offensive, Perry is turning to Romney’s environmental record.
“In Texas, we’ve cleaned the air while creating jobs and adding millions in population. 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,” Perry says in his speech.
Perry also accuses Romney of relying on environmental advisers who went on to work in the Obama administration. Environmental Protection Agency official Gina McCarthy, who works on clean air regulations, helped Massachusetts develop a climate plan when Romney served as governor.
In reply, “heartless” Georgia Republicans in support of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney this morning will loudly point to Rick Perry’s support for in-state tuition for the college-bound children of illegal immigrants in Texas.
Attorney General Sam Olens took the lead in a Romney missive issued last night:
“Our country has a problem with illegal immigration. Programs like Rick Perry’s in-state tuition breaks for illegal immigrants only make it worse. Instead of providing special benefits for illegal immigrants, our nominee must be someone who will secure the border and end incentives for illegal immigration.”
A downtown Atlanta fundraiser later today is likely to feature a large chunk of Republican lawmakers from the state Capitol who have lined up behind Rick Perry.
Worth noting: It has taken the multi-term governor of Texas to bring agreement to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, who have spent the last year struggling for control of the state Senate. The pair has become Perry’s top supporters in Georgia.
Republican state lawmakers for Perry announced themselves 44 strong on Thursday evening. “This represents more than one-third of the state’s Republican lawmakers, including well over half of state Senate Republicans,” the official press release noted.
In the Senate, they include:
Bill Cowsert, majority caucus chair; Cecil Staton, majority whip; Ronnie Chance, governor’s floor leader; Bill Jackson, governor’s floor leader; Don Balfour; Jeff Mullis; John Albers; Charlie Bethel; Buddy Carter; John Crosby; Frank Ginn; Greg Goggans; Tim Golden; Steve Gooch; Jack Hill; Rick Jeffares; William Ligon; Jack Murphy; Mitch Seabaugh; Ross Tolleson.
The most notable absence belongs to Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock.
And House members include:
Larry O’Neal, Republican majority leader; Matt Ramsey, majority caucus vice-chairman; Allen Peake, majority caucus secretary/treasurer; Tim Bearden; Alex Atwood; Rick Austin; Charlice Byrd; Mike Cheokas; Josh Clark; Kevin Cooke; Mike Dudgeon; Jimmy Pruett; Terry England; Rich Golick; Mark Hamilton; Billy Horne; Penny Houston; Tom McCall; John Meadows; James Mills; Jay Roberts; Ron Stephens; and Tom Taylor.
House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, and Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, apparently have decided to keep their powder dry.
Last year, the Atlanta City Council held its annual retreat at the Georgia Aquarium, advertised as a “public meeting.” During that retreat, the council voted on whether to amend its rules regarding public comment at future committee meetings.
The minutes of the meeting do not reflect how the members voted. They simply state: “After an extensive discussion, it was determined that the membership was not in support of amending the existing law.”
Matthew Cardinale, editor of Atlanta Progressive News, wants a break-down of the vote, and next Tuesday will make his argument before the Georgia Supreme Court.
The city of Atlanta has said the state Open Meetings Act doesn’t require that the vote be disclosed. But Attorney General Sam Olens, a Republican, has sided with the liberal plaintiff. His people have filed an amicus brief that calls the city’s legal defense “absurd.”
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today examines the claim by Jennette Gayer, staff advocate for Georgia environment, that metro Atlanta has “had over 40 days this summer where it was unsafe to breathe the air.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider