Perry: Obama's priorities are "messed up"

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to local residents during a campaign stop at The Button Factory restaurant, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, in Muscatine, Iowa.
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

OTTUMWA, Iowa - During a campaign stop here on Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry lambasted President Obama for focusing on temporary solutions such as the payroll tax-cut extension instead of encouraging larger reforms and the creation of energy jobs.

"I will suggest to you his priorities are so messed up, he's worried about a temporary tax cut when we ought to be talking about freeing entrepreneurs so that they have the confidence that they can create jobs in this country. Putting people back to work. That's what this president ought to be talking about. But he's more interested in playing politics," Perry told a crowd of about 100 voters packed into a restaurant in Ottumwa. He was responding to Mr. Obama's remarks on the current battle over a two-month extension of the tax cut on Capitol Hill, which he had watched a few minutes earlier on television.

Saying "enough is enough," Mr. Obama is urging House Republicans to accept the two-month extension instead of holding out for a longer, one year extension. Perry did not express support for either Republican position, and after the event his aides told reporters he was opposed to any temporary extension of the payroll tax cut and instead wanted to see large-scale reforms and more attention to jobs driven by energy production.

Perry harshly criticized a section of Mr. Obama's remarks where the president talked about a man from Wisconsin who told the White House that the extra 40 dollars per paycheck he would receive from the tax cut would allow him to make more trips to visit his father who was in a nursing home in another city.

"Hey Mr. President, how about opening up some energy resources in this country and that's the way you drive down the cost of energy, that's the way you put the people to work, that's the way the American people want you to act, not playing politics," Perry told the crowd forcefully. He was met with loud applause.

He also harped on Mr. Obama's stimulus spending, asking the crowd in what has become a popular campaign refrain these days, "Are you better off today than you were 4 trillion dollars ago? Somebody needs to ask this president about the 4 trillion dollars that he basically has put down a rat hole, that didn't create any jobs, that put this country in the economic condition that it's in."

Full CBS News coverage: Rick Perry
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    Rebecca Kaplan covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.