In a speech to California Republicans Saturday, Gov. Rick Perry spoke to the virtue of conservative politics in state government and how those policies could be applied at the national level.
The Texas governor was the keynote speaker at the California Republican Party’s three-day conference at the Hilton Hotel in Anaheim. He is widely believed to be considering a presidential run in 2016.
“I happen to believe that the answers to our nation’s ills are not going to be found in Washington,” Perry said. “They’re going to be found among the states. The culture in Washington, D.C. is broken. The fact is if they could have fixed it, they would have fixed it a long time ago. But they can’t and they won’t.”
During his 15-minute speech, Perry repeatedly pointed to his state’s low taxes and business-friendly climate, which he sees as a contrast to California. Combined, the two states represent about one-fifth of the American population and according to Perry, that means the states could be determining the destiny of the entire country.
“This debate matters because it’s about the future of America – the vision that wins out,” he said. “Either that big government, protectionist, nanny state version offered by California leaders or the limited government, unsubsidized, freedom state offered by Texas will determine the future of our nation.”
Earlier in the day, Republican gubernatorial candidate Abel Maldonado and his new campaign team held a briefing on what they see as their path to victory. The Maldonado campaign’s new team includes former state GOP Chairman Ron Nehring, former media advisor to Newt Gingrich, Rick Tyler and pollster Ed Goeas.
Maldonado is a former member of both the state Assembly and Senate and a former lieutenant governor. Last year he ran for Congress, but lost to Lois Capps.
“Thirty-five years ago I was on my knees picking strawberries in the fields of California, right next to my Mom,” Maldonado told the crowd at the convention. “I must share with you that those were the times that gave me the foundation of who I am and who my family is.”
The campaign debuted two videos, as well, which touted Maldonado’s support for Prop 13 and charter schools. He also spoke in opposition to prison realignment. However on social issues – like same-sex marriage and abortion – Maldonado is at odds with the more conservative parts of the Republican Party.
More than 1,000 politicians, consultants and activists are attending the three-day conference, which ends on Sunday.