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Can GOP’s new FRONT RUNNER RICK PERRY take the heat? – USATODAY.com – VIDEO LINK

September 19, 2011

Can GOP’s new front-runner Rick Perry take the heat?

By Susan Page, USA TODAY

ATLANTIC, Iowa – Rick Perry’s message: Bring it on.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets supporters Friday in Jasper County, Iowa. “It is about who has the record, who has the vision to get Americans working again,” he says.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets supporters Friday in Jasper County, Iowa. “It is about who has the record, who has the vision to get Americans working again,” he says.

The blunt, brash governor with a Texas drawl says he’s not worried about the flood of scrutiny that has greeted his emergence as an instant front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. News organizations and political opponents are mining his decade-long gubernatorial record in Austin, investigating everything from cozy ties with business interests — supporters have been the recipients of aid and appointments — to his stances on immigration and Social Security.

“I’ve taken the heat before, and I’m not particularly worried about this barrage,” Perry said in an interview with USA TODAY during a day of campaigning to friendly audiences in Iowa, where he hopes a victory in the opening caucuses next year will help catapult him to the nomination. He defends his record and dismisses the suggestion that damaging disclosures might undo his remarkable political rise.

He’s not worried, he said, because only one issue really matters to Americans in this election. It’s the one he plans to ride first against his Republican rivals and then against President Obama.

Jobs.

“I’ll be asked about a hundred different issues a thousand different ways,” he said in the interview Friday, one of only a few he has done since announcing his candidacy last month. “But it is about who has the record, who has the vision to get Americans working again.” That’s what “Republicans, independents and even I think a number of Democrats … are looking for.”

As he told those at a county GOP dinner in Jefferson, a coffeehouse crowd in Newton and workers at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Atlantic, he can cite job-creation statistics in Texas that are the envy of the nation’s other 49 governors. The Lone Star State has accounted for 40% of the jobs created in the United States since June 2009.

via Can GOP’s new front-runner Rick Perry take the heat? – USATODAY.com.

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