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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Perry: Deficit Reduction May Have to Wait

In interview, Texas governor says job creation trumps budget balancing.

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry holds up an "Ax the Tax" prop, which was used by former N.H. Gov. Meldrim Thompson during a campaign stop in Derry, N.H., Friday, Sept. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

photo of Rebecca Kaplan
October 28, 2011

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Rick Perry on Friday said he’d be willing to live with “budget holes” to promote job creation and floated the idea of term-limiting Supreme Court justices.

In an interview with the New Hampshire Union-Leader that was aired Friday on C-SPAN, the Republican presidential candidate indicated that, if forced to choose between balanced budgets and job creation, he would opt for the former.

On the stump, the first of the economic principles Perry says he’d live by is “don’t spend all the money.” But he told the Union Leader he’d have a higher priority if he’s elected to the White House.

 

“I'm less worried about having budget holes to fill in the early years,” Perry said in response to a question about how much revenue his economic plan – which includes a flat tax – would raise. Perry admitted he didn’t know the exact figures, but expressed confidence that his tax plan, along with reforming Medicare and Medicaid, would lead to a balanced budget by 2020.
 
Most critical to job creation, the Texas governor said, will be reducing regulations on business – a move he sees as a key confidence-builder.

“Yeah, taxes are high,” Perry said. “But it’s the regulations that are out there.”
 
On the stump, the Texas governor has frequently asserted that his state’s efforts to limit business regulations promoted job creation.

Perry also floated the idea of term limits for Supreme Court justices. He said he’d like to open debate on the subject.  The judicial  branch has been a frequent target of Perry’s scorn. He berates “activist judges” on the campaign trail and dedicated an entire chapter in his book, Fed Up, to criticizing the Supreme Court, particularly for what he sees as participating in usurping state’s rights.

He also provided more detail on his vision for America’s role in Afghanistan. He has frequently criticized President Obama for offering a deadline by which he would remove troops from the country. Perry went further Friday night, telling the Union Leader that he would beef up the technical side of U.S. military operations while downsizing the fighting force in order to fight more effectively.
 
“I think we are fighting the wrong type of war at this particular time,” he said, calling Afghanistan a “special operations type of war.”

Walt Cronkite contributed. contributed to this article.

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