Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry used a stop in Columbia Friday to launch more criticisms of President Obama.
“The fact is: one in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job,” Perry told a Republican audience at a South Carolina GOP fundraiser, “That is not a recovery, that is an economic disaster.”
Perry only spoke for about seven minutes, focusing solely on economic issues. He highlighted his 10 years as Texas governor, saying the state is responsible for 40 percent of net new jobs created since June 2009. “I’ve governed on just a few, but basic, principles,” he said, “Number one is don’t spend all the money. They need to try that in Washington, D.C.”
He met with 15-20 Republican legislators for roughly an hour before speaking. “It was kind of a roundtable dialogue,” House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R-Charleston) said, “He talked about issues, and different people asked him questions about things they cared about… Everything you can imagine in an hour-long period of time.”
Several legislators were also at the $75-per-person luncheon, including Harrell. However, the Speaker made it clear he has not yet decided which candidate to support. Other legislators said Friday they were backing Perry.
“He’s a candidate who understands what poverty and hardship is,” Sen. Mike Rose (R-Dorchester) said, speaking about Perry’s upbringing on a cotton farm.
Perry also stopped in Florence, where he pledged to doctors at a Florence hospital that he would repeal as much of the health care reform law as possible through an executive order. He has scheduled a Friday evening stop in Greenville to walk around the downtown area.
He has dominated presidential coverage in the past week, but has also received some criticisms for his aggressive comments. Earlier in the week, even fellow Republicans said he went too far in saying it was “almost treasonous” for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to ease the monetary supply again.
Perry himself recognized his quick rise in profile. “It was just six days ago that we made that announcement (running for president), it seems like a month ago.”