With the Republican primary less than two months away, Gov. Rick Perry came to Fort Worth to call for constitutional limits on spending and tax increases by lawmakers. But, it was case of deja vu.
Perry came to a boot store to kick off his announcement for constitutional amendments requiring two-thirds support among lawmakers for state tax increases and a limit on spending hikes.
“Spending growth does not exceed the combined growth of inflation and population growth," Perry proclaimed.
But, voters heard something similar in Perry's 2006 re-election campaign and he dropped it in his 2007 State of the State address, “That's tied to the average inflation and population growth of the last six years.”
The campaign of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who's opposing Perry for the nomination for governor, called it a recycled reform and questioned why voters should trust Perry now after he didn't fulfill his 2006 campaign promise.
Perry said he thinks voters are more receptive.
“They want to see, and I will suggest to you in 2011, we will pass this piece of legislation,” he said.
Perry's campaign cast him as a tough fiscal conservative who cut general fund spending in two budgets while governor.
But, the lower general fund spending in the current budget dropped only after $6.4 billion in federal stimulus funds were added. Perry has been critical of the Democrats stimulus plan.
"I don't agree with your analysis there," Perry replied to the question whether he would not been able to do it without the stimulus money.
As Hutchison criticizes Perry for higher spending and debt, Perry touts the state's economic health compared to the rest of the nation and hopes voters still think he's a good fit as governor.