CNN: New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) – As speculation mounts about his presidential ambitions, Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivered a rousing and unapologetic defense of conservative principles on Saturday at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
Perry repeatedly brought an audience of hundreds of Republican activists to their feet with a small government message reminiscent of the one that helped him win an unprecedented third term as governor last November.
Perry said there is "too much spending, too much interfering and too much apologizing" in Washington.
"Stand up!," Perry thundered. "Let's speak with pride about our morals and our values and redouble our effort to elect more conservative Republicans. Let's stop this American downward spiral!"
Perry made no mention of his political plans and avoided the media by slipping out the back of the hotel where the conference was held following his speech.
But it was clear that the governor was positioning himself as a conservative heavyweight with a credible economic record should he decide to join the crowded Republican presidential field. [MORE]
I watched the speech and I really did like what I heard. However, I have to admit, I have not done my homework on Perry's record, so I cannot say whether or not I believe he is the real deal. (Texas readers, help me out. What should I start looking at regarding the Perry record?)
From the speech I get the impression that Perry is a fighter who won't wither under the Obama and the left's assault. (Again, Texas readers help me out, is Perry a barroom brawler or just another lightweight with a big mouth?).
I am already hearing some of the left's attacks on Perry (secessionist and "another Texas governor" = Bush). I don't see these arguments holding much water in the face of the current state of the nation. (Seceding from an out of control Washington sounds quite sane and who care where the guy is from if he really has a record of creating a job friendly environment).
If Perry's record is the real deal, he could easily become the conservative candidate the base is looking for.
Video h/t: The Right Scoop