IOWA CITY, Iowa — Gov. Rick Perry, who is giving every indication he’s thinking about moving from the Texas capital to the nation’s capitol, is calling for smaller, more limited and more focused federal government that would leave much more of governing America up to the states.
“Washington, you do the few things right that you are supposed to do and us states will take care of the rest of it,” Perry told about 75 people at a Sunday evening fundraiser for Republicans state Senate candidate Mike Moore of Washington, Iowa.
Earlier in the day, Perry, who is on the second day of a four-day swing through Iowa, appeared at a barbecue for another state Senate candidate and an ice cream social for 2nd District challenger Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
Perry said too much power and influence is concentrated in Washington. Electing Moore, who faces Democrat Kevin Kinney, will send a signal that Iowans believe states are the future of the country.
“Washington wants to be the center of power,” he said. The federal government wants to tells Texans and Iowans how to educate their children, how to deliver health care “with schemes like Obamacare.”
“Washington needs to get back to doing the few things that the Constitution actually enumerates for it to do, like securing our borders,” he said, drawing applause from the crowd.
In Texas, he said, the Obama administration has “abjectly failed” to stop illegal immigration “to the point that in my state we felt compelled to fill and stand in the gap” by sending the National Guard to the border.
Border control is not just a Texas problem, Perry said.
“The people using that porous border to come into this country aren’t stopping just in Texas,” he said. Too often those crossing illegally “come with ill intent.”
Perry, who has spent eight days in Iowa since January 2013, said lax border security has created the humanitarian crisis of young children coming from Central and South America believing they can stay in America once they arrive.
“The story is a lie,” he said. “If we are to be a country that’s great, we have to be a country of laws and the rule of law must mean something. You can’t just pick and choose the ones you like. That’s one of the great dilemmas we have in this country today.”
States, however, can pick and choose the policies they want to implement, and Perry encouraged Iowans to follow the lead of Texas where 35 percent of the nation’s new private sector jobs during the time he has been governor have been created.
“I’ve heard people call it the Texas Miracle,” he said. “It’s not a miracle. A miracle is something you can’t explain. I can explain this.”
Iowa can follow the Texas road map, he said.
“You are on the cusp,” he said, referring to the possibility of Republicans controlling the Legislature and governor’s office. “You are one Senate seat away from being able to pass tax cuts, regulatory stability, tort reform that keeps the trial lawyers from leveraging your businesses, putting accountable practices in your public schools so you have that skilled workforce.”
Electing Moore is the first step.
“That’s your challenge. That’s your work,” said Perry, who promised to be back. “Roll up your sleeves, go do that kind of work and we will put not only Iowa on a trajectory that makes this state one of those places that is a true beacon for economic development, but we also send the message across this country that the states, this powerful fabric of states, are the future of this country.”