We're liveblogging from The Texas Tribune Festival, a weekend of debate, discussion and dialogue featuring some of the biggest names in the world of Texas politics and public policy.
Gov. Rick Perry kicked off the festival at tonight's opening session, an interview with Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith. The state's longest-serving governor was asked about everything from higher education, immigration and health care in the upcoming legislative session to his ambitions in 2014, 2016 and beyond.
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A hoarse Gov. Rick Perry is on stage.
Perry says he has a "softer" attitude. Evan starting to ask about his comments about "Satan."
Perry: "I believe in Satan." Says the devil does exist.
"I happen to believe that people of faith should be very much involved ... in the public arena."
Perry says it's "not out of the ordinary" to suggest Satan working his misdeeds in America. "I don't apologize for it."
Perry says "somebody's values are going to be legislated." Question is whose values it will be.
Perry says new sources of revenue comes from people who move here
"There is a reason that TX is the No. 1 state in the nation to do business." Now to the stump speech: tort reform, budget cuts, low regulation.
Perry says Texas has "found a fairly good balance" of giving people freedom, keeping taxes low. "We find middle ground," he says.
Perry says he will call for a four year tuition freeze
Perry said he's willing to have a discussion about changing franchise tax
Perry refers to Austin as the "blueberry in the tomato soup" of Texas.
Revenue is up and Perry says Texas is "doing quite better" than most other states.
Perry promises an "open and thoughtful debate" about restoring cuts to public education.
Perry says it's easier to educate children in Connecticut than in Texas, which has more cultural diversity than the Northeast
Perry says he's always been for vouchers. "That's not breaking any news tonight."
Perry says he's still focused on higher education reform: "We can transform higher education and make it more accessible make it more affordable."
Under Perry's proposal, a student who enters as college freshman would pay same tuition rate for four years. If it takes longer, the student could face hike.
Perry drinking tea. Very hoarse. Suffering from ragweed allergies.
Perry, an Aggie, professes love for UT
Chalks up talk that he would fire Bill Powers to "the rumor factory."
Says Bill Powers will be the" master of his ship."
Perry says Medicaid is broken. "it is too inflexible. It is too run from Washington, D.C."
Perry says people should not be forced to buy health insurance.
Asked about high number of uninsured, Perry says increased health care spending could negatively impact spending on education, infrastructure and other priorities.
Perry says it's "a fallacy" to suggest that women won't get family planning services in wake of ending Planned Parenthood funding.
Perry says of presidential race: "they were pleasant days"
Perry says he favors an "open and vigorous debate" about in-state tuition.
Perry says he still supports giving in-state tuition to certain illegal immigrant children. "Let's have the debate," he said. "We made a correct, economic decison for this state."
Perry says he does not believe a bill ending in-state tuition for illegal immigrants will reach his desk
Perry says Democrats who try to criticize Mitt Romney as vulture capitalist "will have the same luck with it as I did."
Perry says he will announce his intentions about his political future in June of next year. Passes up opportunity to endorse Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for re-election.
Perry calls run for president an "incredibly enjoyable experience." Says running again is an option.
Perry says "2014 and 2016 will take care of themselves."
Perry says comparing state mandate to require car insurance and federal requirement to buy health insurance is ''a bit of a stretch." Says people can choose not to drive.
Perry sidesteps Dream Act question, says border security has to be dealt with first.
Perry says "porous border" is the problem, declined to say what he would do with people who are here now illegally.
Perry calls Medicaid "blackmail with our own money."
Perry says border not safe now. Says it can be accomplished with combination of physical barriers, technology and "boots on the ground."
Perry is frustrated that TX has spent half a billion dollars to help secure border, a federal responsiblity.
The opening session is kicked off! Q&A over.