Rick Perry Kicks Off His Presidential Campaign With Pomp and Hubris

Rick Perry officially announced his renewed presidential aspirations Thursday at Addison Airport. Flanked by veterans and Taya Kyle, the window of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, Perry said he would return American exceptionalism, lambasted President Obama and told a cheering throng that "rights come from God, not the government."

"It's time to create real jobs, to raise wages, to create opportunity for all, to give every citizen a stake in this country; to restore hope — real hope to forgotten Americans," Perry said.

To help those forgotten Americans, Perry stressed the need to reform — read: gut — entitlement programs, authorize the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and allow the export of American oil.

As you might have expected from the patriotic theme, Perry stressed his military service and executive experience as the longest-serving governor in Texas history as proof of his presidential bona fides. He took a thinly veiled shot at fellow Texan Senator Ted Cruz for seeking the Republican presidential nomination despite having only served as a senator.

"The question of every candidate is this one: When have you led?" Perry said. "Leadership is not a speech on the Senate floor. It's not what you say; it's what you have done. And we will not find the kind of leadership needed to revitalize the country by looking to the political class in Washington."

Before his announcement, Perry checked in at less than 5 percent in national polls, trailing Cruz and no-hopers like Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson. He's also still under felony indictment in Travis County for abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. Luckily for him, he ran perhaps the worst major-candidate campaign in modern history chasing the 2012 GOP nomination, so this one has at least a 20 percent chance of being better.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young