Perry Addresses Republican Conference as Crowd Chants 'Run, Rick, Run'

ABC News’ Arlette Saenz ( @ArletteSaenz) reports: Amid chants of “Run, Rick, Run,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry sounded like a candidate today at a speech in New Orleans as he revved up a crowd with talk about social conservative values and criticism of President Obama. “That mix of arrogance and audacity that guides the Obama administration is an affront to every freedom-loving American and a threat to every private sector job in this country,” Perry told the crowd at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. “They clearly think that they know best. And let me tell you I vehemently disagree. They don’t know best.” Perry introduced himself as a leader grappling with how to solve the problems afflicting the country. “It doesn’t matter what your zip code is or where you’re from. We’re all facing the same challenges in America. I stand before you today a disciplined conservative Texan, a committed Republican and a proud American, united with you in the desire to restore our nation and revive the American dream.” Perry bragged about the economic success in Texas -– from creating nearly half of all new jobs in the country in the past two years to balancing its budget -– along with reinforcing social conservative values such as strengthening right-to-life legislation. “We happen to be a bunch of happy warriors that are working together,” Perry said. “We’re sticking to our guns and those conservative values.” During his speech, Perry asked attendees to text a phone number with the word “Forward,” which resulted in a reply text routing users to Perry’s website featuring a video entitled “Moving America Forward.” Uploaded to YouTube on Friday, the video starts with a prompt reading “A rancher from Haskell County came to Austin and changed Texas.” It ends asking people to join the governor’s “fight against Washington overreach.” The Texas Tribune reported that Perry 2012 buttons were a hot ticket item at the booths at the convention this weekend. An adviser for Perry told the Texas Tribune today that a decision about a presidential run is still weeks away. Perry did not give any hints about a 2012 run during his speech but stressed the importance of electing Republican officials across the board. “November 2012 is not very far away, but we’ve got to be ready to elect Republican leaders up and down that ballot who will make government smaller so that opportunity can get bigger,” he said. “There is no greater goal, no more crucial time than right now to take and make our stand to restore our economy, our family, our country and I happen to know that we can and I know that you will,” he said Perry received multiple standing ovations during his speech and left the room to chants of “Run, Rick, Run” and “Perry 2012.”

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