Governor Rick Perry touted the Legislature's ability to balance the state's budget while stashing away $9 billion in "rainy day" funds during a Dallas County Republican Party fund-raiser this afternoon at Edison's.
"That is the type of government that America is looking for," he told a crowd of approximately 125 folks.
Perry made similar claims in an op-ed he penned for Wednesday's Washington Times, but as pointed out on FrontBurner, Texas relied on stimulus money more than any other state to balance its budget, and the $9 billion was leftover from the $12 billion in stimulus funds accepted by Perry. Unfair Park attempted to ask Perry about his rationalization of this with his anti-stimulus rhetoric, but he left after fielding questions from WFAA's Brad Watson and Gromer Jeffers of The Dallas Morning News.
There was no mention of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison at the event, and the lack of politicos in the room was shocking -- with Representative Will Hartnett and county judge candidate Wade Emmert among a small group of notables. The governor offered a quick summary regarding why the Republican Party has been losing power throughout the country.
"It is because we have people who went to Washington and acted like Democrats, and they spent like Democrats," he said. "And the American people said, 'Enough,' and they put us away."
After creating more jobs than the other 49 states combined in 2008, housing more Fortune 500 companies than any other state and ranking No. 1 for the fourth year in a row as the state where people are relocating the most, Perry said Texas is on the right course.
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"This didn't happen by accident," he said. "It didn't just fall out of the sky. It happened because there were some hard, disciplined decisions made over the course of the last six years."
Why the last six years and not since he became governor in 2000? Perry said it's a misconception that Texas has long been a Republican state or that it became one when George W. Bush became governor in 1995. Only in 2003 when the governor, lieutenant governor, house and senate were Republican did the state truly become red, Perry claimed.
The governor also criticized President Barack Obama's nationalized health care plan, saying it's "not good" for America or Texas. If Obama wants to have a real conversation about health care, Perry suggested national tort reform. He said three years after Texas passed its tort reform laws, 2,500 physicians were waiting for licenses in Texas compared to just 175 in California and 150 in New York.
Perry was fairly vague while discussing the accomplishments of this year's legislative session; however, he noted that bills were passed to make the state more competitive in the movie and television industries. He expressed frustration that the Oscar-winning film No Country for Old Men was set in Texas but filmed in neighboring New Mexico, and the HBO series True Blood is filmed in Louisiana.