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Rick Perry Hits President Obama on Energy and Jobs

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry aimed his attacks at President Obama’s energy and jobs policies Wednesday by criticizing the president’s speech in Pittsburgh Tuesday and by painting his own forthcoming energy and jobs plan as a direct contrast to the president’s.

“This president would rather listen to an environmental activist than he would the pleas and the cries of the people without a job,” Perry said at the Indiana Republican Party’s Presidential Forum in Indianapolis.

“The question is whether the president’s going to listen to his advisers on jobs or competiveness or is he going to listen to the activists that are pushing an agenda that pits environment against the economy,” Perry added. “That’s what the question is. I’m going to be in Pittsburgh Friday and I’m going to announce my own energy jobs plan, and I can promise you this: I’m going to take the side of workers and employers in America. That’s who I’m going to be standing with.”

Perry is set to deliver his first major policy speech Friday at a steel plant in West Mifflin, Pa., where he will detail his energy and jobs plan, which he claims will put 1.2 million Americans to work in the energy sector. Perry did not share any specific proposals Wednesday that he’ll outline on Friday, but he stressed the need to open access to the country’s natural resources.

“The next economic boom is right under our feet. Our own oil resources alone are vast enough to meet the next 300 years of energy demand at today’s levels,” Perry said. “We have the answer, my friends. It’s right below our own feet. And what has been this administration’s response to our energy potential? They’ve thrown every bureaucratic obstacle possible in order to advance an activist agenda.”

Perry criticized the administration’s “bureaucratic overkill” and argued that new EPA regulations will lead to the loss of 1.6 million jobs by 2020.

“The choice this election is whether we’re going to keep a president who has failed to create jobs and who is pro-bailout, pro-government-mandated health care, pro-cap and trade, or whether we’re going to change the course and elect a president who will give consumers greater freedom, who will protect us from job-killing carbon schemes and who will support policies that are good for Main Street and not just Wall Street,” Perry said.

Perry’s speech in Indianapolis marked his first trip to the Hoosier State this campaign season, and he had kind words for Indiana’s Republican governor, telling the crowd, “You’ve got one smart governor in Mitch Daniels.”

Though Daniels won re-election in 2008, Indiana turned Democratic in the presidential race for the first time in four decades as President Obama won the state over Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., by slightly more than one percent.

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