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.