Oct. 05--ANAHEIM -- With the California Republican Party kicking off its weekend convention at the Hilton Anaheim, Texas Gov. Rick Perry helped get the ball rolling Friday with a press conference in which he touted red states as creating a superior business climate to blue states.
"No comparison is more illuminating than the friendly competition between California and Texas," said Perry, a possible 2016 presidential candidate who is the convention keynote speaker Saturday night.
Earlier this year, Perry visited California and four other blue states on a high-publicity tour to lure businesses with the prospect of his state's lower taxes and lax regulations. Bloomberg business news reported Friday that he spent more than $2 million on those trips to recruit jobs to Texas but "so far, he hasn't brought one back."
But Perry challenged that report when asked about it at the press conference, noting that the state has added 12,000 jobs in the past year -- including some from California-based companies.
His staff later emailed the Register a list of 43 California-based companies that had added jobs in Texas this year, including 14 that started operations in the state for the first time and six that relocated their headquarters to there.
Texas employment has grown about 2 percent this year, slightly faster than the U.S. overall, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Unemployment is 6.4 percent, 17th lowest in the nation, while California unemployment is 8.9 percent, ranking it 47th.
Nonetheless, California's economy is rebounding, its unemployment is down considerably from an October 2010 high of 12.4 percent, and its budget crisis has passed.
California Republicans weren't holding Perry's job recruitment against him at the convention.
"The message is not that we want the jobs to go to Texas," said Flash Report publisher Jon Fleischman, a conservative blogger and former state GOP executive director from Irvine. "The message is that we need to create a better environment here for jobs."
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Original headline: In Anaheim, Perry touts red states for jobs
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