WASHINGTON – Americans have had enough of government spending and federal deficits. This was the message delivered by two of Texas’ best-known politicians Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Using national health care as an example of how the federal government has expanded,Gov. Rick Perry said the plan passed by Congress was unconstitutional and “a train wreck.”
“On this,or any other area of government overreach,we must be united in sending a clear and simple message to Washington. Enough!” the Republican governor said.
Rep. Ron Paul,R,who spoke just before Perry,said it was not just the actions of Democratic Party that have led to the nation’s budget and debt crisis. Members of the Republican Party who supported government spending on things such as health care are also to blame,he said.
“There’s been a lot of talk about bipartisanship after the election,but I believe we’ve had way too much bipartisanship for about 60 years,” Paul said.
Paul,who called for a national flat tax and an end to the Federal Reserve during his 2008 presidential bid,seemed to draw a crowd of young,vocal CPAC members from the 11,000 people registered for the three-day conference. Paul paused for a few moments when,responding to his comments on the Federal Reserve and the government bailout of the nation’s large financial institutions,his supporters spontaneously begun chanting,“End the Fed.”
While Perry did not seem to have the same crowd support,he spoke firmly about what it is he believes the American people want from the federal government.
“Americans are fed up with this so-called progressive movement,” Perry said,“that very long ago set aside the people’s interests in favor of expanding government and raising taxes.”
He devoted a large part of his time to the merits of the 10th Amendment,which guarantees states’ rights. Americans want a “less intrusive” government that lives within its means,he said.
Perry also called on the federal government to protect the border between the U.S. and Mexico. He called the government’s response to drug trafficking and violence along the border “an abject failure.”
At one point during his speech,a member of the audience yelled out,“Run for president!”
Perry,who is believed to be considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012,did not stop to acknowledge his would-be supporter,nor did he make any comment on his future political aspirations.
Greg Koontz,48,a lawyer from Charlotte Hall,Md.,who was in the audience,said while he has been a supporter of Paul for some time,he believes Perry would have a better chance at a presidential bid.
“I liked his speech. There is too much government meddling,particularly from Washington,” Koontz said. “If he ran for president,I’d have to look more into his record but I’d consider it.”