Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry expressed confidence on Fox News Sunday that his policy proposals will win over the American people as he talked up his flat-tax proposal and defended the lower revenue rates his plan will bring in.
Perry's appearance--his first on any of the Sunday morning talk shows--came just as a new poll by the Des Moines Register showed him tied for fifth place with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 7 percent in the state. Ahead of the Texas governor in the poll were businessman Herman Cain (23 percent), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (22 percent), Texas Rep. Ron Paul (12 percent), and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (8 percent).
But Perry said he is convinced his flat-tax plan will sway voters his way. "Americans will say, 'Not only is this a great plan--this fella's got the record of doing it. That's what we need in the White House,' " Perry said. He insisted the plan, which calls for a voluntary 20 percent flat tax on all Americans, will "put the meat on the bone" for voters.
And though the plan would bring in $4.7 trillion less in revenue than the current tax system, Perry doesn't see a problem. "There's nothing wrong with lower revenue," he said. "I don't want more revenue in D.C.'s hands, I want more revenue in job creators' hands."
To help balance that, he is pledging to cut $1 trillion from the federal budget in his first year in office, though still has few details to offer on how exactly he would do that. On the show, he suggested $25 billion could be saved by combining the Education Department's elementary and secondary education programs and sending some of their responsibilities back to the states, but did not offer other solutions.
And he pushed back against the suggestion by host Chris Wallace that his plan to create 2.5 million jobs--built mostly on expanding energy exploration in the U.S. and reforming the tax code--was too low. Perry painted the number as a more realistic vision than, perhaps, a promise that he create 10.5 million jobs.
Perry also assured Wallace he was up to the challenge of debating, both with his competitors and President Obama. On Saturday night, his advisors confirmed that he will participate in at least five more debates in the coming months: a CNBC debate in Michigan on Nov. 9, a CBS debate in South Carolina on Nov. 12, a Family Leader forum in Iowa on Nov. 19, and CNN-sponsored debates in Washington on Nov. 15 and in Arizona on Dec. 1, said spokesman Mark Miner.
"I'm not worried a bit that I'll be able to stand on the stage with Barack Obama and draw a very bright line," Perry said. "He's an individual who lost 2.5 million jobs for this country--his experiment with the American economy turned it into an absolutely Frankenstein experience," he added, in a nod to Halloween.
During the show, Perry also repeated an oft-cited criticism of President Obama's proposal to withdraw troops from Iraq by saying it was "irresponsible" to inform the enemy of one's plans. The other target of Perry's criticism was fellow candidate Mitt Romney, who Perry has been attacking for being inconsistent in his views since his entry into the race.