Perry Brings Jobs Message to Michigan
Governor Rick Perry visited Mitt Romney’s childhood home of Michigan today. He spoke to a packed room of Republican activists on Mackinac Island. The governor received a warm reception, but he likely won’t win the Michigan primary. But the problem isn’t his message.
The pro-jobs, small government message Perry has delivered across the country worked well in a state with an unemployment rate higher than the national average. Perry compared that reality with what he’s been able to do in Texas.
“It happened because we had the courage to implement the tax and regulatory,” Perry told the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, “and I might add the legal reforms that have allowed Texas to become one of the most competitive states in the nation.”
Michiganders also like the governor’s immigration message of federal inaction leading to an unstable boarder, although some are still not thrilled by the Texas program that gives in-state tuition to some illegal immigrants.
So what will keep Governor Perry from winning Michigan? Cynicism for one, said Professor Richard Hall of the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He says the state’s economy has struggled through several governors, all promising a quick fix.
“So I think Michiganders will probably be skeptical of any claims about how fewer regulations and a better tax environment is going to re-stimulate the manufacturing base in this country,” Hall told KUT News.
But Perry’s success in the Wolverine State–or lack there of–may actually have nothing to do with him. As Michigan Republican Sandy Nolenberg said as she left Perry’s speech, Michigan is a Mitt state.
“Romney’s from Michigan. I know his family. And I thought Perry did a nice job, but Mitt’s so far ahead in the polls I’m not so sure he’ll pull it off. But he did a nice job,” Nolenberg said.
If she had been from Texas, she might have added, “bless his heart.”