By KENNETH P. VOGEL | 8/29/14 4:51 PM EDT Updated: 8/30/14 7:26 AM EDT
DALLAS – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in a Friday afternoon speech that sounded a lot like presidential red meat, accused President Barack Obama of overstepping his constitutional authority and abdicating national defense at home and abroad.
“American leadership is needed now more than ever. Presidential leadership is needed now more than ever,” Perry told nearly 3,000 activists gathered in a hotel ballroom here for a summit organized by the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity.
Perry scolded Obama for dropping the ball on ISIS, and on border security.
“ISIS is not the junior varsity. It is a clear and present danger to the free world,” he said. “And Mr. President, the peace of the free world requires presidential decisiveness, not dithering and debating.”
His remarks were heavy on his hawkish foreign policy stances, although Americans for Prosperity and the Koch political network focuses more on domestic spending, regulation and taxation.
At one point, some in the crowd appeared to push back on Perry’s hawkish foreign policy pronouncements.
Ticking off the crises in eastern Europe and the Middle East, Perry declared “the world needs a president who is not one step behind, who is lurching from crisis to crisis, who is always playing catchup,” prompting scattered shouts of “Rand Paul,” whose non-interventionist foreign policy stands in stark contrast to Perry’s and in some ways seems a closer fit with that of AFP’s billionaire benefactors Charles and David Koch.
Still, Perry drew big applause when he highlighted his decision to send National Guard troops to his state’s southern border with Mexico, declaring, “if Washington, D.C., will not do its job to secure that border, Texas will.”
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