Politics

Rick Perry and Rick Santorum Go National as 2016 Looms

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: April 23, 2014 3:55 PM
Rick Perry and Rick Santorum

Rick Perry and Rick Santorum

Two conservatives who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 tested the national waters on Tuesday as they mull over second presidential campaigns in 2016. 

On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, hit New York, urging businesses frustrated with the poor business climate in the Empire State to look at the Lone Star State. The longest serving governor in Texas history, Perry launched a late bid for the Republican presidential nomination during the 2012 election cycle that proved underwhelming, thanks in part to a series of memorable gaffes. Perry announced last year that he would not run for another term in Austin in 2014.

Perry has opened the door to another presidential bid even as another Texas Republican -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz -- also tests the waters for 2016. On Tuesday, Perry called out Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., challenging him to a debate on economic issues. Appearing on talk radio in Albany on Tuesday, Perry said a debate with Cuomo would be a natural fit.

"A debate between the governors of two of the largest states in the country on policy issues such as taxes, government spending, education, regulations and legal reform would be beneficial to our states and our country as a whole," Perry said. "New York is a great state with good and hard-working people, but if it is going to be successful in the future, New York needs more policies that encourage job creation. I believe we are doing it right in Texas, and I hope Gov. Cuomo will accept my invitation."

Perry’s in New York for three days this week, looking to woo businesses to Texas. He’s getting air support in the form of an ad from Americans for Economic Freedom (AEF), urging New York businesses to look at Texas.

Conservative economist Arthur Laffer, who sits on AEF’s board, also tried to give Perry some cover on Tuesday.

"The key lessons of low taxes and smart regulations in the ongoing competition between the states can be applied all across the country to invigorate the American economy," said Laffer. "As each state economy is strengthened through increased economic activity, job creation and generation of wealth, we rebuild the American economic engine through increased employment and opportunity."

In the meantime, an old Perry rival from 2012 also tested the waters on Tuesday. From his perch as the chairman of Patriot Voices PAC, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., announced he was backing four Republican hopefuls as the GOP looks to flip control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats.

On Tuesday, Santorum announced he was backing U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in what is expected to be one of the most competitive Senate elections come November. Santorum also announced he was supporting U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., for the Republican nomination to challenge newly appointed U.S. Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont. In Michigan, Santorum is backing former state Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

"I am pleased to announce our support of these fine conservatives,” Santorum said on Tuesday. “In 2014, we have an historic opportunity to win back the Senate, and these four candidates put us on the right path for that achievement. I look forward to supporting them in the weeks and months ahead.”



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com. 



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