Texas Gov. Rick Perry responded Thursday to Republican critics who have dismissed him as an unreliable loose-cannon candidate whose “Wild West approach” will cause his campaign against President Obama “to blow up.”
Defending himself on the Laura Ingraham radio show, Perry pointed to his unprecedented three terms as Texas governor and his record of job creation, and explained his political style.
“I speak plainly,” Perry told Ingraham’s audience. “I call it like I see it. Look, I am not an establishment figure. Never have been, and frankly I don’t want to be. I dislike Washington. I think it’s a seedy place. But our country is in trouble and I don’t have the privilege to sit on the sidelines and watch our country be destroyed economically by a president who has been conducting an experiment on the American economy for the last two and a half years.”
“My wife told it like it was when she looked me in the eye and said, listen, ‘you have to do your duty.” And that’s what I’m doing,” he added, referencing his wife Anita Perry’s role in finally convincing him to run. (RELATED: Past nemesis Hutchison says she would support ‘nominee’ Perry)
Perry also had some harsh words for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, calling the healthcare law Romney implemented in 2006 a “huge problem” for one of his chief GOP rivals.
“I think Mitt is finally recognizing that the Massachusetts health care plan that he passed is a huge problem for him,” Perry said, explaining that he supports a free-market health care system. Perry labeled “ObamaCare” a “debacle,” noting that it was modeled in part on Romney’s plan.
At the end of the interview Ingraham pressed Perry to make a campaign pledge to never vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, as President Obama currently is.
“I’m not even sure I know where it is,” Perry joked.