Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry touted his record of tax cuts and job creation during a return trip to Iowa Thursday.
The Republican appeared at an event sponsored by a county GOP organization held in suburban Des Moines. He told the more than 50 people gathered in a hotel conference room that wage growth has slowed over the past decade and argued that lowering taxes, limiting business regulation and improving educational attainment would help reverse that trend.
"If (people) want to see their wages increased, there's a political party they need to be paying attention to, there's a political party they need to be supporting. It's the Republican party," Perry said, stressing his experience from 14 years as governor of Texas.
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Perry has not declared his 2016 plans, but he has already hired five Iowa staffers and has made numerous visits to the state over the past year as he considers a presidential bid. A handful of Perry's former aides and allies have launched the Opportunity and Freedom PAC, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on Perry's behalf.
Perry has been trying to avoid missteps he made during the 2012 presidential race. He entered with much fanfare, parachuting in relatively late in August 2011. But he quickly stumbled, dropping from a front-runner to an also-ran because of a series of gaffes and poor debate performances -- most notably his "oops" moment, when he could only list two of the three federal agencies he said he would close if elected president.
Perry finished fifth in the Iowa caucuses in early 2012 and quit the race two weeks later.