Perry: Obama debt ceiling speech was condescending

AP News
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Posted: Jul 26, 2011 7:14 PM
Perry: Obama debt ceiling speech was condescending

Texas Gov. Rick Perry slammed President Barack Obama's speech on the debt ceiling debate as condescending on Tuesday, saying he heard the president tell Americans they "just wouldn't understand" the issue.

"Mr. President, Americans are paying attention, and they do know what they're talking about, and they do realize that what you want to do is raise taxes, spend more, put America further in debt," Perry said. "And that's not what they want to do."

The Republican governor, who said he is still evaluating whether to jump into the race for his party's presidential nomination, said he was stunned that Obama "would think that Americans aren't paying attention" to the debate.

In his speech Monday night, Obama said the term "debt ceiling" is one most people outside of Washington have probably never heard of before. The president also said he would support a plan proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., that would trim $2.7 trillion dollars in spending from the federal budget as part of a deal to raise the nation's debt limit.

Perry spoke in Amarillo at a ceremonial signing of the state's budget, and he hammered lawmakers in Washington for not making what he called difficult choices on spending cuts as Texas lawmakers did during their recently completed legislative session.

"That's part of the problem, is this is business as usual and American's are sick and tired of it," he said.

The budget approved by Texas legislators and signed by Perry included more than $4 billion in cuts to education funding _ the first reduction in per student spending since World War II _ and underfunded the state's share of Medicaid by $4.8 billion, potentially creating a budget deficit for the state in 2013.

The longest-serving governor in Texas history said he's continuing to evaluate whether to jump into the race for the Republican presidential nomination. He says he is getting calls from supporters eager to see him get into the race.

"I'm not going to opine on it other than to say that it's moving ahead and we continue to get calls from across the country to be engaged and to make the run," Perry said.

"But the other side of it is I'm not going to do something to embarrass myself and/or our supporters, and if and when we do make that decision it will be based on really solid information that this is the time and the right thing for us."