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Rick Perry continues his bromance with Rick Scott in Orlando

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Everyone knows that Rick Scott and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry have had something of a bromance going over the past few years, much of it regarding their competition to see which state has added more jobs over the past four years.

Perry praised Scott several times during his 30-minute presentation, including a shout-out about half way through that Scott knew health care, and that he was doing the right thing in not wanting to expand Medicaid.

While Scott was just re-elected last year, Perry stepped down in January after an unprecedented 14-year run leading Texas, which did lead the nation in job growth over the past six years of his reign.

Now on the eve of his expected announcement that he will once again run for president, Perry appeared at Gov. Scott’s economic forum in Orlando on Tuesday morning, where he spoke about the power of federalism and a whole of other things.

Perry began by extolling the virtue of state governments over Washington (a familiar trope uttered by the candidates), though he mentioned Colorado as an example of how they might get things wrong (presumably referring to the legalization of pot there).

“Nobody gave me more blues than Rick Scott,” Perry said about how he would look at what other states were doing to be competitive economically.

He also touted executive experience at the state level. “I’m biased. I’ll admit that, straight up,” the longtime governor said. He said that when you fly from Miami to Rio, you want an accomplished pilot, not someone who gives a great speech about aerodynamics and the physics of flying.

Perry boasted that over the past 14 years, over a third of all the jobs created in the country were in Texas, and that from December of 2007 to December of 2014, Texas added 1.5 million jobs, while the other collective 49 states lost 400,000. “That is stunning,” he proclaimed.

He also boasted about high school graduation rates in Texas, and said it was the best place in the country for black and Hispanic youth to graduate.

Although he was supposed to limit his comments to the economy, Perry said he was concerned about the size of the military, saying the Army has the lowest number of personnel since before World War II.

Perry mentioned that he doesn’t like Common Core federal education concerns,  and said people should show respect to the 10th Amendment, which says any powers not given to the U.S. government by the Constitution are reserved for the states.

And naturally, he’s for a robust control of our border with Mexico, giving a detailed anecdote about meeting with President Obama and White House aide Valerie Jarrett when the humanitarian crises emerged on the Rio Grande border last summer.

It’s undoubtedly much of what he’ll say on Thursday when he announces his candidacy for president. He struggled mightily four years ago when he ran for president, including an embarrassing moment where he blanked on stage.

Supporters say he’s much healthier now than he was then (when he suffered from back problems), but whether his time has came and gone remains to be seen.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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