DENVER Texas Gov. Rick Perry sounded very much like a presidential candidate Friday night when he blasted President Barack Obama in front of a crowd of nearly 900 conservatives.
In a Gallup poll of Republicans last week, Perry was tied with Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, even though Perry has not formally declared his intent to run for president. It was Perrys second visit in as many weeks to Colorado, which has been a Romney stronghold.
Our federal government has grown well beyond its intended size and purpose so that it now threatens the liberties it was created to protect, Perry said.
He spoke for 18 minutes at the Western Conservative Summit, sponsored by Colorado Christian University, and he got an enthusiastic response from the crowd, especially when he targeted Obama.
The mix of arrogance and audacity that guides the Obama administration is an affront to every freedom-loving American and a threat to just about every private sector job, Perry said.
But Perry also took oblique swipes at his primary opponents, especially Romney, with calls to elect genuine conservatives up and down the ballot.
Perry said Republicans need to send more fiscal conservatives to Washington and more liberals into the private sector, including the president, who would be a whole lot better commentator on Sunday talk shows than he is nations chief executive.
Perry touted his formula for governing Texas, which he said includes low taxes, low spending, less regulation and discouragement of lawsuits.
Former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, a native Texan, introduced Perry as governor of the second-best state in the union.
Owens praised Perry as a strong fiscal conservative who vetoed $3 billion in spending.
You learn who the doers are and who the talkers are, and Rick Perry is a doer, Owens said.
Earlier in the night, the crowd heard from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is a formal GOP candidate for president. Although the crowd applauded Santorums speech, it didnt happen as often or as enthusiastically as during Perrys much shorter speech.
Santorum said he will be the toughest person for Obama to beat, so the mainstream media has buried coverage of him.
His speech concentrated on the role of the family as the building block of society.
Following Gods will is the path to happiness, and our founders knew that, Santorum said.