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Perry stumps at Fox Den

Rick Perry, presidential hopeful and governor of Texas, parted Farragut following a breakfast fundraiser in a style similar to U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur as the general evacuated the Philippines during World War II.

“I will return to East Tennessee,” the Republican said Thursday morning, Sept. 29, as he boarded his SUV amid remarks from a lone heckler calling for the governor to “leave Tennessee and never return” and “go back to Texas, we don’t want you here.”

Perry was in Farragut as guest of a group of supporters willing to pay $1,000 to $5,000 in order to have breakfast with the governor, who is trailing in polls behind Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney. The breakfast was closed to media.

Notable guests at the breakfast held at Fox Den Country Club were Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., state Rep. Jimmy Matlock, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and his wife, Allison. However, the mayor left prior to the governor’s arrival.

In an impromptu press conference on the patio behind FDCC, Perry reflected on his remarks to the 150 or so supporters who attended the event.

Perry said the main focus of his campaign at this point is the economy.

“If we talk about anything other than what is your plan to get America working, I will tell you that’s a diversion Americans are really not interested in,” Perry said, adding, “Who is going to get this country working again? We know how to do that. For 10 years in Texas we’ve created a job machine, a million new jobs have been created while the country lost 2.5 million.

“Until we have the economy in this country going, nothing else matters.”

Perry said he sees over-regulation and uncertainty created by President Barack Obama’s policies as the main reasons the American economy hasn’t recovered as many hoped.

“You do it by lowering the tax burden on the job creators, a regulatory climate that doesn’t kill jobs, and make sure you have a legal system that doesn’t cause over-suing, and then get out of the way,” Perry said.

He says there’s too much regulation on small businesses and job stimulation would help more people get health insurance.

“You get rid of Obamacare. You pull back all those regulations that are killing jobs, whether it’s in the energy industry or whether it’s in the banking industry,” he said. “I mean Dodd-Frank is killing the small business owners because the banks are afraid to loan money. This is the anti-job creation legislation.

“The EPA is even worse,” he added. “I’m not sure the president understands what he’s doing to this country. He’s taking away from too many the opportunity for a job.”

When it comes to education reform, Perry is against the Race to The Top funds Tennessee received from the federal government. Perry went on to clarify his stance against Race to the Top funding in education.

Early last year, the Department of Education awarded Tennessee $500 million in ‘Race to the Top’ grants to help spur innovation in education.

“I just think it’s a bad idea for the federal government to be telling you in Tennessee or anywhere else how to educate your children,” Perry said. Perry said Tennessee’s support is important in this race.

“Obviously it’s really important. If you look back in historic campaigns, Tennessee is one of those that have made a difference. It’s been a swing state.”

Perry’s staff said the governor was headed to Charlotte, N.C., Wheeling, W.Va., and was going to be in Atlanta, Ga., later that night.


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