Everyone knows that Rick Scott and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry have had something of a bromance going for several years, much of it regarding their competition to see which state has added more jobs over the past four years.
Perry praised Scott several times during his 30-minute presentation, including a shout-out about halfway through that Scott knew health care, and that he was doing the right thing in not wanting to expand Medicaid.
While Scott was just re-elected last year, Perry stepped down in January after an unprecedented 14-year run leading Texas, which did lead the nation in job growth during the final six years of his tenure.
Now on the eve of the expected announcement he will once again run for president, Perry appeared at Scott’s economic forum in Orlando on Tuesday morning, where he spoke about the power of federalism and other things.
Perry extolled the virtue of state governments over Washington (a familiar trope from the candidates), though he mentioned Colorado as an example of how they might get things wrong (presumably referring to the legalization of pot there).
“Nobody gave me more blues than Rick Scott,” Perry said of when he would look at what other states were doing to be competitive economically.
He also touted executive experience at the state level. “I’m biased. I’ll admit that, straight up,” the longtime governor said. He said that when you fly from Miami to Rio, you want an accomplished pilot, not someone who gives a great speech about aerodynamics and the physics of flying.
Perry boasted that for the past 14 years, more than a third of all the jobs created in the country were in Texas, and that from December 2007 to December 2014, Texas added 1.5 million jobs, while the other collective 49 states lost 400,000. “That is a stunning,” he said.
He also boasted about high school graduation rates in Texas, and said it was the best place in the country for black and Hispanic youngsters to graduate.
Although he was supposed to limit his comments to the economy, Perry expressed concern about the size of the military, saying the Army has the lowest personnel level since before World War II.
Perry said he doesn’t like Common Core federal education concerns, and said people should show respect to the 10th Amendment, which says any powers not given to the U.S. government by the Constitution are reserved for the states.
Naturally, he’s also for robust control of our border with Mexico, giving a detailed anecdote about meeting with President Obama and White House aide Valerie Jarrett when the humanitarian crises emerged on the Rio Grande border last summer.
It’s undoubtedly much of what he’ll say Thursday when he announces his candidacy for president. He struggled mightily four years ago when he ran for president, including an embarrassing moment where he blanked on stage.
Supporters say he’s much healthier now than he was then (when he suffered from back problems), but whether his time has come and gone remains to be seen.