BEDFORD, N.H.—Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired back on Wednesday to a White House admonition by contrasting his own economic record with President Obama’s, saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Perry used his five-day-old campaign’s second trip to the first-in-the-nation primary state to connect its libertarian spirit with his home state’s independent streak, likening the two states' low tax policies and calling on New Hampshire legislators to push right-to-work legislation.
Perry vowed that he would continue emphasizing New Hampshire, a state where GOP rival Mitt Romney owns a home and has prioritized by easing off a heavy commitment to Iowa.
“We've got great respect for this state and your first-in-the-nation primary. I’m going to be here a lot,” Perry said at a “politics-and-eggs” event, sponsored by a New England business association, that routinely draws presidential candidates. The turnout was the largest since George W. Bush addressed the group in 1999, organizers said.
In a nod to the Granite State’s secular political dynamics, where religion plays a far less dominant role than in other early-voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina, Perry steered clear of social issues and locked in on fiscal and economic matters: regulations, tort reform, tax-code reform.
Fielding a question from the audience, Perry reiterated his skepticism about climate-change science, calling the notion that humans have caused global warming “a scientific theory that has not been proven and, from my perspective, is more and more being put into question.”
Perry’s remark to an Iowa crowd on Monday about the prospect that Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke could undertake a third round of quantitative easing drew blowback from the Obama administration—and from others sources as well. Several top Republicans also criticized his tone.
"If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas,” Perry reportedly said on Monday. “Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion."
White House press secretary Jay Carney responded on Tuesday, "When you're president, or you're running for president, you have to think about what you're saying, because your words have greater impact. President Obama and we take the independence of the Federal Reserve very seriously and certainly think threatening the Fed chairman is probably not a good idea."
Obama said that presidential candidates should “be more careful” with their words once their campaigns are under way.