Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

On Eve of CPAC Here, Perry Sounding a Lot like a Candidate

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

On Eve of CPAC Here, Perry Sounding a Lot like a Candidate

Article excerpt

ST. CHARLES * Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas returned to Missouri Friday sounding a lot like a potential candidate for president on the eve of a convention that will draw conservatives from all over the country.

Perry appeared in St. Charles to formally announce a national nonprofit organization that will promote low-tax policies such as those he has championed in Texas.

But in a small room at the St. Charles Embassy Suites Hotel, in front of reporters and television cameras, his pitch was as heavy on political rhetoric as on policy.

"For America to find its fiscal footing, we must look away from Washington ... (and toward) middle America," said Perry, in announcing Americans for Economic Freedom. "We will only restore our nation to economic renewal if change sweeps the Heartland."

The group is being formed as a 501(c)(4) organization "to promote economic policies at the state level that promote job growth, business development and economic expansion," according to a statement.

Specifically, it will publicize the policies of low-tax states, contrasting them with those of high-tax states and using paid media and other venues to promote the position that low-tax policies create jobs.

"We start that movement today from the midsection of America: Missouri," Perry said. "This is a battleground state when it comes to electoral politics, but the real battle is for the health of our nation."

Perry who unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for president last year is scheduled to speak today at the regional Conservative Political Action Conference meeting in St. Charles. He is among headliners at the event, which includes former senator and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.

CPAC conventions have been used by Republican candidates to shore up conservative support and test the waters before elections.

Asked whether he intended to run for president again, Perry said: "I don't have any idea. I'll make a decision in probably a year or so."

Meanwhile, he said, he will travel the country to "push this debate."

"There are 50 laboratories of innovation" in the differing tax policies of the 50 states, Perry said. …

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