The Big Conversation:
During Gov. Rick Perry's major policy speech today, expect to hear echoes of a familiar refrain: drill, baby, drill.
So say multiple reports on Perry's long-awaited jobs plan, which he'll deliver today at a steel mill in Pittsburgh.
"We are standing atop the next American economic boom — energy," Perry will say, according to Reuters. "The quickest way to give our economy a shot in the arm is to deploy American ingenuity to tap American energy. But we can only do that if environmental bureaucrats are told to stand down."
In the first major policy address of his campaign so far, Perry will reportedly propose expanding offshore drilling, rolling back federal environmental regulations and limiting access to the lawsuits challenging energy initiatives.
"The plan I present this morning, energizing American jobs and security, will kick-start economic growth and 1.2 million American jobs," Perry will say.
Asked specifically by CNBC on Thursday whether his blueprint included plans to drill in "the Atlantic, the Gulf, Alaska, the Arctic," Perry said "absolutely," the Houston Chronicle reported.
"Being in bed with the environmental activists, this administration has clearly stated that they’re not going to allow for America to produce these resources," he added.
Perry has faced criticism from his Republican opponents for having waited so long to unveil a detailed jobs plan. ("Mitt's had six years to be working on a plan; I've been in this for about eight weeks," Perry said at Tuesday's Republican debate.) Now, he'll likely take hits from the left.
"This proposal is Bush and Cheney gone wild," Daniel Weiss of the liberal Center for American Progress told USA Today.
But Perry's pinning his hopes on the plan to help him turn a corner with Republican voters. And harkening back to "drill, baby, drill" could prove popular among a GOP electorate currently taken with a certain other catchy campaign slogan.
- Anita Perry, who has emerged as an increasingly vocal surrogate for her husband on the campaign trail, on Thursday delivered an emotional, attention-grabbing speech in which she spoke of the "rough month" the campaign has faced and said God had called her husband to run for president. “We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today,” she told an audience of evangelicals at a Christian university in North Carolina. “We still feel called. We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative — well, there are some true conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them, too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.” The episode has The Washington Post wondering: Does Rick Perry still even want to be president?
- U.S. Rep. Ron Paul has released a new video strongly touting the congressman's opposition to abortion. In the stark ad, Paul, a doctor, recounts witnessing a late-term abortion. "Unless we … understand that life is precious and we must protect life, we can't protect liberty," he says.
- Mexican President Felipe Calderón on Thursday opened the Juárez Competitiva, a cultural, commerce and sporting event aimed at reforming the violence-ridden city's public image. "It's not about trying to hide or minimize our problems," Calderón said, according to the El Paso Times. "It's about trying to remember how much we have and how much we're worth." Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are expected to speak at the two-week event.
“God was already speaking to me, but he didn’t want to hear it. I said, you may not see that burning bush, but there are people seeing that burning bush for you.” — Anita Perry on persuading her husband to run for president
- Action movie star Steven Seagal sworn in as Hudspeth County Sheriff's deputy, El Paso Times
- Left Behind, Texas Monthly
- Is It Really Romney?, The Daily Beast