Texas Gov. Rick Perry told employees of a Cedar Rapids-based company that's added 232 employees since 2008 that President Obama has presided over an "economic disaster."
"Mr. President, you've had two-and-a-half years for government to create jobs. It's time to let the private sector get to work," Perry told employees of D.C. Taylor Co., 312 29th Street NE, one of the country's 20 largest commercial roofing contractors.
"I'm running to get America working again," Perry said.
The fact that the sky is not falling on this particular roofing company did not come up in Perry's remarks, during which he blamed Obama for higher national debt (true) higher taxes (as a percentage of GDP, federal taxes are at the lowest level since 1950) and higher unemployment (true). Perry vowed to repeal the president's "audacious attempt to take over health care." (Politifact's "lie of the year" in 2010 never goes out of style). Perry did not return to his Monday attack on the Federal Reserve.
Perry railed against "unnecessary" and "out-of-control" regulations, calling for a six-month moratorium on all new federal rules. He did not cite a specific regulatory target today. On Monday, Perry claimed that federal transportation regulations require farmers who drive a tractor across a public road to have a commercial driver's license. The DOT says it's not true.
Perry's speech was well-received by the red-shirted employees who gathered in the company's warehouse to hear it. The workers, project managers and supervisors from all across the country, are in Cedar Rapids for a summer training session. Before and after speaking, Perry made a point of meeting and shaking hands with each of them.
"We're still America, and we're not dead," said Ryan White, a West Virginian who met a real live presidential hopeful for the first time and praised Perry's speech. White said he's fed up with federal welfare programs that give food stamp benefits to people who turn around and sell them for prescription drugs.
"I liked the fact he plans on keeping the federal government out of our lives as much as possible," said Rich Chapman, easily the tallest guy in the room, who lives outside Atlanta. He'd like to see a flat income tax system where everyone pays one low, fair rate.
There were some Iowans, including Jim Jones, who owns a small electrical business in Cedar Rapids. "It was a great message. A message we all need to hear," Jones said.
Jones said he'd love to hire more people but has decided to hold off amid what he contends is continued uncertainty about taxes and regulations, in particular rules tied to health care reforms. He plans to caucus either for Perry or Michele Bachmann.
"Based on what I'm hearing, either one. Anybody who's got a spine and says enough is enough," Jones said.
Here are excerpts from Perry's speech where he discusses his economic proposals and record. (Sorry it's a little shaky)
And here's some footage of Perry meeting employees. I know his campaign bristles at the comparison, but he reminds me of W.