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Rick Perry sounds like he's running for something in speech to Texas GOP Convention

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Rick Perry at mic and podium May 2013
Rick Perry took shots at the federal government during one of his last speeches as the governor of Texas. Governor.state.tx.us

The Republican State Convention kicked off Thursday in Fort Worth with a speech from outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but he didn't sound like a career politician heading into retirement. On the contrary, he appeared to be setting the stage for his next campaign. 

Perry's speech ran the gamut of hot-button political issues, covering education, the economy, environmental concerns and healthcare. His praise of Texas policies nearly always set up a dig at the federal government. 

"The formula of higher taxes, more spending and massive debt has weighed down our economy, and puts our nation on course to the failed policies of Detroit and Greece. There is a better way, and it’s called the Texas Way," Perry said to a crowd of about 10,000 supporters. 

 "There is a better way, and it’s called the Texas Way," Gov. Rick Perry said.

Pointing to Texas' track record of creating jobs and building businesses, Perry highlighted the differences between federal polices and those in the Lone Star State.

"Since January, 2001, Texas has created 37 percent of the private sector jobs in America," he said. "Think about that for just a moment. We are home to one in 12 Americans, but three out of every eight new jobs in America reside in Texas."

Perry shied away from calling those figures the Texas Miracle, a phrase that has grown in popularity recently. Instead, Perry offered an alternate explanation for the Lone Star State's prosperity.

"We don’t spend all the money," he said. "We don’t tax beyond what is needed. We educate our children. We implement reasonable regulations and we stop frivolous lawsuits."

When he wasn't bashing Washington, Perry hit on education issues, calling out the success of Texas charter schools and naming KIPP Academy as an example. 

"We haven’t forced students trapped in failing schools to accept a fate of mediocrity. Instead, we have approved over 200 charter schools across Texas, giving at-risk students a chance at life," he said.
 
Education is one of the few areas where Perry does support government intervention. "Government must do a few things, and do them well. It must fund good roads, reliable power, clean water and great schools," he said. "But government can’t be all things to all people. It can only create an environment where those who work hard and dream big have a shot at success."
 
Calling The Affordable Healthcare Act "federal blackmail," Perry put a positive spin on leaving millions of dollars on the table.
 
"Some states took the bait of ObamaCare, and expanded Medicaid. We did not," Perry said, adding. "Federal money is not free. It is the fruit of taxpayers’ labor." 

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