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Entries in Stump Speech (2)


Gov. Rick Perry's New Hampshire State House Speech 

New Hampshire State House, Concord, N.H. 11/30/11

CONCORD, N.H. - Texas Gov. Rick Perry today addressed the New Hampshire State House. Below is the text of Gov. Perry's speech. 

*NOTE: Gov. Perry sometimes deviates from prepared remarks.

Thank you Speaker O'Brien. It is an honor to speak to the nation's largest state legislature, the New Hampshire State House of Representatives. I am truly honored to speak in this historic setting, the oldest capitol building in the nation where legislators occupy the original chambers. Like you, I come from a state with a citizen-legislature. We meet 140 days every two years. Some Texans think we should meet two days every 140 years.

I am reminded of the great history of our nation in your midst today. Behind me are five portraits that paint a picture of brave and virtuous leadership, of individuals who remind me of one of my state's own legendary figures: Sam Houston, who lived by the motto, "do right, and risk consequences."

You have a portrait of our nation's first president, George Washington, who not only led us to victory in the American Revolution, but who voluntarily relinquished power after two terms in the vein of a true statesman. 

New Hampshire's one and only native president adorns these historic walls: Franklin Pierce, who became president just eight years after my home state joined the union. 

There is Daniel Webster, whose statue in Scott Circle in Washington, D.C. contains an inscription that reads, "Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable." 

A voice of conscience is also displayed in this historic setting: Senator John P. Hale, the first United States Senator to speak out against the sin of slavery. 

And finally, perhaps our nation's greatest president, who preserved the union and set the slaves free. Abraham Lincoln looks down upon us today. 

They all sought a more perfect union, and leave legacies that transcend time because they stood on the foundation of moral courage. 

Washington will always be remembered for leading us to our freedom, Hale for speaking out on the side of truth and justice more than 100 years before Congress truly established equal rights, and Lincoln, for liberating a people who had been deprived the freedom to live according to the ideals of our Constitution.

We are not a perfect union, but we are a more perfect union because all citizens regardless of tribe or tongue are given the promise of opportunity in America today.

However, I would not be running for president if I thought all is well with America today. 

In fact, I am running because the promise of our founders is currently being wasted by Washington. 

I am running because today's Washington politicians have acted like Black Friday consumers engaging in a spending spree that puts our children's future on layaway. We buy now, they pay later.

And I am running because we must no longer tolerate an America in which Main Street is allowed to crumble while Wall Street financiers and Beltway profiteers bilk the taxpayers.

What is wrong with America can be diagrammed on a map with one straight line connecting two dots between Washington and Wall Street. 

The Washington politicians pressured Fannie, Freddie and the banks to provide easy lending to put more Americans in homes they could not afford. The sub-prime market exploded with risky loans. Americans were snookered into deals with zero down and balloon payment notes. 

Regulators fell asleep at the switch. No one was watching as the rating agencies gave Triple A ratings to complex securities filled with high-risk loans. And the Wall Street high rollers hatched get rich schemes where they profited from betting against America. When the market crashed, those on Wall Street who saw it coming made millions, and those who did not got bailed out.

This week we learned that the $700 billion TARP bailout was paltry compared to secret loan guarantees of $7.7 trillion. 

Those paying the price are not the large banks who were over-leveraged, not the insurance companies that took on too much risk, not even the executives who continued to reap large bonuses even after the walls came tumbling down. 

No, the people who are paying the price are average Americans, Main Street businesses, and our children, who stand to inherit the worst fiscal mess of our lifetime. It's wrong. It's unfair. It's unjust. 

We shouldn't be awarding taxpayer-funded bonuses to Wall Street executives who defrauded those very same taxpayers. We should be locking them up. And when I am president, we will clean up corruption from K Street to Wall Street so they can't gamble with our children's future again. 

It starts with a simple promise. No more bailouts, whether we are talking about bankers in America or in Europe.  It continues with my pledge to end wasteful earmarks. And I won't stop until Congress and the American People pass a balanced budget Amendment to the United States Constitution.

I believe there is a model for good governance that Washington should emulate. It is the model of the citizen-legislature that you have in New Hampshire today. 

You take care of the people's business, pass a budget, and then go home and live under the laws you pass. Washington is broken because the professional political class consolidates more and more power and leaves the rest of us less freedom.

Our debt is now $15 trillion. 14 million Americans are out of work. One in eight Americans are on food stamps. And Washington's only answer is to spend more money and become more central in our lives.

As the state that lives by the motto, "live free or die," you have demonstrated a better way where spending is kept under control, budgets are balanced and residents are freed from the burden of paying either a state income tax or a state sales tax. And if you ever doubt the power of taxation to dictate consumer decisions, look at how many Boston workers have moved their homes across the border to the Granite State. 

If you pass into law a right to work law, you may just join my home state in creating more jobs than any other state in America. 

Unions have a proper role in America, but you shouldn't be forced to join one to feed your family.

I am here to say to every American frustrated by the excess spending, by this faltering economy, by the Washington and Wall Street Corruption: you have a choice this election. 

You don't have to sit back and take it anymore. You don't have to resign yourself to choosing between Washington Insiders. You don't have to settle for modest reform that amounts to a reshuffling of the status quo. You can reach beyond the confines of the Beltway and choose bold change from a true Washington Outsider.

We don't need to tinker around the margins as our country drowns in debt and unemployment. We need to overhaul Washington. To me, it starts with creating a part-time Congress. Cut their pay in half, cut their office budgets in half, and cut their time in Washington in half. 

Let's free up employers from the heavy hand of regulation. I will freeze every pending regulation and review every enacted one since 2008. And if they kill jobs, they are gone.

To jolt our economy, let's stop debating temporary tax cuts financed by permanent tax hikes to the same failed system. Let's give Americans the option of junking the tax code and paying a simple flat tax. 

My plan is so simple you can file it on a postcard. In fact, it's so simple Timothy Geithner can pay his taxes on time. 

And my plan goes further. It closes the corporate loopholes, ends the corporate carve-outs and stops the gravy train of tax lawyers and lobbyists at the Washington trough. 

The premise of my plan to uproot and overhaul Washington goes back to our founders and the notion that the people are not the subjects of government but instead government should be subject to the people.

In his eulogy to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Webster said, and I quote: 

"And now, fellow-citizens, let us not retire from this occasion without a deep and solemn conviction of the duties which have developed upon us. The dear purchase of our fathers are ours. Ours to enjoy, ours to preserve, ours to transmit. Generations past and generations to come hold us responsible for this sacred trust. Our fathers, from behind, admonish us. Posterity calls out to us. All conjure us to act wisely and faithfully in the relation which we sustain. We can never, indeed, pay the debt which is upon us, but by virtue, by morality, by religion, by the cultivation of every good principle and every good habit we may hope to enjoy the blessing through our day and to leave it unimpaired to our children."


Daniel Webster knew that responsibility implicit to every generation of Americans, to leave a country better, stronger and freer than the one given to them at great cost. The future of America is too important to be left in the hands of the Washington politicians. 

I have talked a lot about the mess we are in, but I want you to know I remain an optimist at heart. Washington may be broken, but the American People are not. I know, because I have traveled this country. I have spoken to the corn farmers in Iowa, to the blue collar manufacturing workers in South Carolina, to the town hall inquisitors in New Hampshire. Yes, they can be pretty direct.

These Americans haven't quit. They aren't buying into the idea that our best days are behind us. They simply want their country back. 

I know this is still the America where the son of tenant farmers can become governor of our second largest state and run for president. This is still the America I volunteered to serve in the United States Air Force in 1972, the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.

This is still the America where there are no artificial barriers posed by class, but an all-encompassing promise to those who dream big and work hard that you can achieve success, and most certainly significance. What's wrong with America has nothing to do with the idealism and values of the American People, which remain virtuous. 

It is about how broken Washington is. If we clean up our nation's capital, America will get off the mat again. Our people will dream again. Employers will invest again. Our economy will grow again.

The America I learned to love on that small cotton farm is still there ready to be awakened once again. The freedoms written into this Constitution are not just words on paper. They are ideals inscribed on the hearts of every American who yearns to be free. 

Let's set them free. Let's make America, America again. Let's rein in Washington.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.


Gov Pawlenty Announcement Remarks 

Governor Pawlenty: "A Time for Truth"

Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech

Des Moines, Iowa

May 23, 2011

As Prepared for Delivery

Thanks, Mary, for your very kind words and for your tremendous love and support. After serving eight years as Minnesota's Governor, I was very much looking forward to life with Mary, and our daughters, in the Midwestern home we love.  But with Mary's encouragement and wise counsel, we came to a different conclusion.  And that brings me here today with this announcement.           

I'm Tim Pawlenty, and I'm running for President of the United States.

We live in the greatest country the world has ever known.  But, as we all know, America is in big trouble, and it won't get fixed if we keep going down the same path.  If we want a new and better direction, we need a new and better President.

President Obama's policies have failed. But more than that, he won't even tell us the truth about what it's really going to take to get out of the mess we're in.

I could stand here and tell you that we can solve America's debt crisis and fix our economy without making any tough choices. 

But we've heard those kinds of empty promises for the last three years, and we know where they've gotten us.     Fluffy promises of hope and change don't buy our groceries, make our mortgage payments, put gas in our cars, or pay for our children’s clothes.  

So, in my campaign, I'm going to take a different approach.  I am going to tell you the truth. The truth is, Washington's broken.

Our country is going broke, and the pain of the recent recession will pale in comparison to what's coming, if we don't get spending in Washington D.C. under control. President Obama doesn't have an economic plan.  He just has a campaign plan.  America deserves much better.

Barack Obama promised that spending eight hundred billion dollars on a pork-filled stimulus bill would keep unemployment under eight percent.  He promised that bailouts for well-connected businesses were a good deal for the country.   He promised that a federal takeover of health care would keep costs under control.  And hard as it is to believe, he even promised the deficit would be cut in half in his first term!

But the truth is, since President Obama took office, massive numbers of Americans  can't find a job.  We're four trillion dollars deeper in debt.  And his health care plan is an unmitigated disaster for our country.

We've tried Barack Obama's way . . . and his way has failed.  Three years into his term, we're no longer just running out of money.  We're running out of time. 

It's time for new leadership.  It's time for a new approach.  And, it's time for America's president - and anyone who wants to be president - to look you in the eye and tell you the truth.  So here it is.

Government money isn't "free."  You and I either pay for it in taxes, or our children pay for it in debt.  The reforms we need are not in the billions, but in the trillions of dollars.  And the cuts we need to make - the cuts we must make - can't just be to somebody else's programs.

The changes history is calling on America to make today cannot be shouldered only by people richer than us or poorer than us - but by us, too.

Politicians are often afraid that if they're too honest, they might lose an election.  I'm afraid that in 2012, if we're not honest enough, we may lose our country. 

If we want to grow our economy, we need to shrink our government.  If we want to create jobs, we need to encourage job creators.  If we want our children to be free to pursue their dreams, we can't shackle them with our debts.

This is a time for truth. 

That's why later this week, I'm going to New York City, to tell Wall Street that if I'm elected, the era of bailouts, handouts, and carve outs will be over.  No more subsidies, no more special treatment.  No more Fannie and Freddie, no more TARP, and no more "too big to fail." 

Success in our economy must once again be determined by the ingenuity of competing businesses and the judgment of the marketplace, period.

There's more.

Tomorrow, I'm going to Florida to tell both young people and seniors the truth that our entitlement programs are on an unsustainable path and that inaction is no longer an option.

Our national debt, combined with Obamacare, have placed Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in real peril. I'll tell young people the truth that over time and for them only, we're going to gradually raise their Social Security retirement age. 

And, I'll also tell the truth to wealthy seniors that we will means test Social Security's annual cost-of-living adjustment.            

Medicare must be also be reformed with "pay for performance" incentives that reward good doctors and wise consumers.

And, we need to block grant Medicaid to the states. There, innovative reformers closest to the patients can solve problems and save money.           

This week, I'll also be in Washington, D.C., to remind the federal bureaucracy that government exists to serve its citizens, not its employees.  The truth is, people getting paid by the taxpayers shouldn't get a better deal than the taxpayers themselves.

That means freezing federal salaries, transitioning federal employee benefits, and downsizing the federal workforce as it retires.   It means paying public employees for results, not just seniority - from the Capitol to the classroom, and everywhere in between.

And in the private sector, it means no card check - not now, not ever.  It means no more taxpayer bailouts just because you gave lots of money to a campaign.  And it especially means the National Labor Relations Board will never again tell an American company where it can and can't do business.

I'm here today to tell Iowans the truth, too.

America is facing a crushing debt crisis the likes of which we've never seen before.  We need to cut spending, and we need to cut it…big time. The hard truth is that there are no longer any sacred programs.

The truth about federal energy subsidies, including federal subsidies for ethanol, is that they have to be phased out.  We need to do it gradually.  We need to do it fairly.  But we need to do it.  

Now, I'm not some out-of-touch politician.  I served two terms as Governor of an ag state.  I fully understand and respect the critical role farming plays in our economy and our society.  I've strongly supported ethanol in various ways over the years, and I still believe in the promise of renewable fuels - both for our economy and our national security.

But even in Minnesota, when faced with fiscal challenges, we reduced ethanol subsidies.  That's where we are now in Washington, but on a much, much larger scale.

It's not only ethanol.  We need to change our approach to subsidies in all industries. 

It can't be done overnight.  The industry has made large investments, and it wouldn't be fair to pull the rug out from under it immediately.  But we must face the truth that if we want to invite more competition, more investment, and more innovation into an industry - we need to get government out.  We also need the government out of the business of handing out favors and special deals.  The free market, not freebies from politicians, should decide a company's success.  So, as part of a larger reform, we need to phase out subsidies across all sources of energy and all industries, including ethanol.  We simply can't afford them anymore.

Some people will be upset by what I'm saying.

Conventional wisdom says you can't talk about ethanol in Iowa or Social Security in Florida or financial reform on Wall Street.

But someone has to say it.  Someone has to finally stand up and level with the American people.  Someone has to lead.

When times get tough, there's always a temptation among politicians to try to turn the American people against one-another.  Some try to fan the flames of envy and resentment as a way to deflect attention from their own responsibilities. 

But that's not good enough.  Our problems demand - and our children deserve - much more from us this time.

No president deserves to win an election by dividing the American people - picking winners and losers, protecting his own party's spending and cutting only the other guys'; pitting classes, and ethnicities, and generations against each other. 

The truth is, we're all in this together. So we need to work to get out of this mess together.

I'll unite our party and unite our nation, because to solve a fourteen-trillion-dollar problem, we're going to need three hundred million people.

Leadership in a time of crisis isn't about telling people what you think they want to hear, it's about telling the truth.

President Barack Obama refuses to do that.  He has a simple and cynical plan: pretend there is no crisis, then attack those of us who are willing to stand up and try to solve it.

In Washington, they call that "smart politics."  But I'm not from Washington. I grew up in Minnesota, in the hard-working blue collar town of South Saint Paul. 

When I was 16 years old my mom passed away from ovarian cancer.  Awhile later, my dad lost his job for a time.  In a situation like that, you see some things.  You learn some things. 

At a young age, I learned the value of leaning into my faith in God, in challenging times and at all times.  I saw the value of a loving family that rallied around each other in times of crisis.  I learned the value of hard work and the responsibility for doing my part. I learned that education was a ticket to opportunity. 

I learned the value of a job and a paycheck.  I got a chance to work at a grocery store for about seven years.  I was a union member.  I was proud to earn some money to help pay for school costs and make ends meet. 

The values I learned are America's values.  I know the American Dream -- because I've lived it.  I am running for President to keep that dream alive. 

The first step toward restoring America's promise, is to elect a president who keeps his promises.

How do I know conservative values and principles can rescue our economy and reform our government? Because in Minnesota, for the last eight years, they already have. I love my state but let's face it: it's one of the most liberal states in the union.  

Minnesota's big-government legacy presented me with the same type of problems Barack Obama found in the nation's capital.  But my approach – and my results – were very different from his. 

When I became governor, Minnesota's two-year budget had been increasing an average of 21% for over forty years.  During my eight years, that changed dramatically.  I passed a budget that actually reduced state spending in real terms for the first time in the 150-year history of Minnesota.

For decades before I was elected, governors tried and failed to get Minnesota out of the top-ten highest taxed states in the country. I actually did it.

Minnesota faced health care costs that were spiraling out of control. Sound familiar?  I know how to do health care reform right.  I've done it at the state level.  No mandates, no takeovers… and it's the opposite of Obamacare.

I took on the public employee unions before it was popular to do it.  For example, our government bus drivers had benefits similar to those that are breaking budgets in California, Illinois, and half of Europe.  I wanted to bring those benefits in line.  The union refused and went on strike.   It became one of the longest transit strikes in the history of the country.  People picketed my house, the media trashed me, and the buses didn't move.  But neither did we.  On the 45th day of the strike, the union came back to the table, and taxpayers won.  Today, we have a transit system that gives commuters a ride, without taking the taxpayers for a ride.

I stood up to the teachers unions and established one of the first statewide performance pay systems in the country.  

And I appointed new conservative justices to the state Supreme Court. They understand that judges are supposed to rule according to the language of the law, not the preferences of their party.  You know something about that here in Iowa.

In Minnesota and in Washington, the issues were the same: taxes, spending, health care, unions, and the courts.  But in Washington, Barack Obama has consistently stood for  higher taxes, more spending, more government, more powerful special interests, and less individual freedom.

In Minnesota, I cut taxes, cut spending, instituted health care choice and performance pay for teachers, reformed our union benefits, and appointed constitutional conservatives to the Supreme Court.  That is how you lead a liberal state in a conservative direction.

The problems we face as a nation are severe.  But if we could move Minnesota in a common sense, conservative direction, we can do it anywhere -- even in Washington D.C.  

It won't be easy, but it's not supposed to be.  This is America - we don't do easy.

Valley Forge wasn't easy.  Normandy wasn't easy.  Winning the Cold War wasn't easy. 

If prosperity were easy, everyone around the world would be prosperous.

If security were easy, everyone around the world would be secure. 

If freedom were easy, everyone would be free. They're not.  But - Americans are - because our Founders and generations before us chose to be, and insisted, sacrificed - and risked everything - so that we could be. 

That's their legacy.  Now it's our challenge.

We are up for it. 

In 2008, Barack Obama told us he would change America . . . and he has.

In 2012, we will change America again . . . and this time, it will be for the better.

Thank you.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.