Declaring that California's spot atop the perch as the nation's business leader is over, Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Monday said the Golden State is now "looking at our backside."
The GOP politician, whose presidential bid ended a year ago, is in San Francisco and Silicon Valley this week attempting to lure businesses to Texas. In a wide-ranging one-on-one interview with the San Jose Mercury News, he fired return shots at California Gov. Jerry Brown, said Austin, Texas, is poised to become the "next Silicon Valley" and talked about what it's like to be a conservative politician hanging out in the nation's most liberal city.
"No one's come up and said, 'Get the hell out of California,' " Perry said.
Perry cited his state's lower taxes and less stringent regulations and business laws, as he did in a 30-second radio ad that aired in California last week, in meeting with businesses this week, the names of which he declined to disclose. But he was more than eager to pump up the Lone Star State.
"Some time in the past, California became uncompetitive with other states because of their tax (and) regulatory policies in particular," Perry said. "There is somebody that wants to knock you off your perch. That's what's happened to California."
He added: "12 years ago, California wasn't looking over its shoulder. They're not looking over their shoulder now -- they're looking at our backside."
Perry also responded to Brown's comments last week that Perry's radio ads were "not a burp, (and) barely a fart," since the airtime was worth only $24,000.
"It was colorful," Perry said. "It was awesome; he got a lot of coverage. He helped the effort."
Perry also lambasted Brown's signature effort -- November's Proposition 30 tax increase, which helped balance the budget -- and said Californians would come to regret passing it in a few months when they have less money left over.
Perry emphasized that he liked California and its history -- he vacations here and visited during his failed presidential bid, he said -- but said the state was headed in the wrong direction because of what he described as a pro-tax, anti-corporate culture that has made the state's business climate "abysmal."
After concluding his everything-is-better-in-Texas interview, Perry, wearing sneakers and a red tie, put a laptop in his bag. The brand? Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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