News Column

Perry, Scott Bromance Blossoms at Economic Growth Forum

April 9, 2013
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (file photo)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (file photo)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Gov. Rick Scott brought their tax-cutting, job-creating bromance to the stage of an international business gathering here on Monday, mixing gubernatorial trash talk with professions of mutual admiration.

The Republican duo addressed economic growth for a luncheon crowd of about 400 at the Palm Beach Strategic Forum at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

Moderator Leigh Gallagher, an assistant managing editor at Fortune magazine, called Florida and Texas "two stunning success stories." Florida has added 279,500 private sector jobs since January 2011, when Scott took office. Texas has added 706,200 private jobs in that time.

"The things that we're trying to do, Gov. Perry's been doing -- reduce regulation, reduce taxes, call on companies, put people that like businesses on boards and commissions, reduce frivolous lawsuits," Scott said. He told Perry: "We're going to continue to do everything we can to attract every business you're thinking about."

Texas recently spent $24,000 on radio ads in California to try to lure businesses to the Lone Star State. But Perry said the "paltry" investment became more valuable when California Gov. Jerry Brown disparaged the Texas effort.

"It became about a $4 million ad campaign because it was talked about all over California and it was talked about nationally. But my point with this was, I wanted to help drive a conversation in this country about Red State vs. Blue State policies," Perry said.

Perry spoke of luring hair-care giant Paul Mitchell Products to Texas. Looking at Florida's shaven-headed governor, Perry said the Paul Mitchell line is something "you don't know about....You don't waste any time in the morning working on your hair, brother."

Perry later put in a plug for Scott's 2014 re-election.

"Floridians would be foolish to remove a guy with his leadership and his record as we go into this next election cycle," Perry said. "The fact is if you want to see Florida continue to grow, the record of his work that he's done is inarguable that it's taken Florida in a direction that is very much on an upward sweep."

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(c)2013 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

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Source: Copyright Palm Beach Post (FL) 2013