Former Governor Rick Perry, 65, of Texas, is a United States Air Force veteran and a former farmer. He was the longest-serving governor in Texas and also served as lieutenant governor and on the Texas House of Representatives. He has a degree in animal science from Texas A&M University. He is married to Anita and has two children. He made a prior bid for president in 2012.
FOX 8 reached out to Rick Perry, as we did with each of the presidential hopefuls, for answers to the following questions, which were the most-asked, according to Google:
1.) How would you grow our economy? What are its greatest threats?
If we want to live up to the timeless American commitment to expand opportunity for all who come after us, we need to create an environment that allows every American to find work. We need to make life more affordable by helping Americans keep more of what they earn and lowering the cost of living, healthcare, childcare and college. We need to retire the federal debt to protect the safety net for the most vulnerable, and continue to fund the essential services our government is responsible for, like defense. We can grow our economy by lowering the corporate tax rate to bring jobs back from overseas and boost wages for middle income workers. We need to implement a North American energy policy that will not only create jobs, but drive down the cost of electricity for employers and families in the U.S. And finally we need to create incentives for manufacturers to bring their operations back onshore.
While I was governor of Texas, we created opportunity for all by keeping taxes low, and making sure our regulations were smart and predictable and that our legal system didn’t allow for oversuing. Paired with an accountable public school system that created a skilled workforce, these policies helped Texas create 1.5 million jobs during the Great Recession, while the country as a whole lost 400,000 during the same time period.
2.) How would you approach the country’s health care system? How would you change/adjust the Affordable Care Act?
We need leadership in Washington that understands a heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all policy does nothing to help health outcomes for Americans. With individual premiums up more than 50 percent and nearly 5 million people losing their health plans, Americans deserve better than what we’re getting with Obamacare. It’s time we repealed Obamacare and replaced it with truly affordable, patient centered-health care reform, and I look forward to laying out my ideas on this issue.
3.) How should the country deal with its illegal immigrants? What is your stance on legal immigration?
Inaction by President Obama and the federal government to fully secure our border continues to put our communities and national security at risk. Serious immigration reform starts with serious border security. As Gov. Perry knows from his time in Texas, that includes boots on the ground, strategic fencing, aviation assets and quick response teams. Once the border is secure, then we can have a conversation with Congress and the American people about how to reform our immigration system.
4.) Are you satisfied with the way income and wealth are distributed in the U.S.? How do you plan to address wealth distribution, especially for the middle class?
There’s a lot of talk in Washington about income inequality. But there’s a lot less talk about the inequality that arises from the high cost of everyday life. I am running for President because I want to make life better for all Americans. During my leadership in Texas, the state became our country’s economic engine during the recession. Because we curtailed frivolous lawsuits and unreasonable regulations in Texas, it’s far cheaper to do business in Dallas or Houston than in big cities run by liberal leadership. And those lower costs get passed down to consumers – especially low-income consumers – in the form of lower prices. My first priority as president will be to reignite the engine of American economic growth by reforming the tax code and requiring federal agencies to adhere to a strict regulatory budget. A growing economy will give the middle class more opportunities to climb, just as it has in Texas.
5.) Especially in light of the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Ferguson riots, how do you plan to address/navigate race relations in the United States?
As Americans, we are all united by certain aspirations, especially our desire to live the American dream. We all want access to opportunity. We all want good schools for our kids. I am proud to live in a country with an African-American President. But President Obama cannot be proud of the fact that the prevalence of black poverty has actually increased under his leadership. While I was governor, from 2005 to 2007, more African-Americans moved to Texas than any other state except Georgia as we continued to fight poverty by increasing opportunities for jobs and education. Texas’ most recent graduation rate for African-Americans was number one in the nation: 13 points higher than the national average.That is the message that we need to be sending to families across the country – that regardless of race or background, the American dream is still available to them.
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