Perry shifts focus from jobs to Job

January 1, 2012

By Paige Winfield Cunningham-The Washington Times

BOONE, Iowa — Delivering stump speeches with more references to the Bible than to the economy, Rick Perry struck out at surging opponent Rick Santorum on Saturday while continuing to paint himself as the socially conservative candidate religious Iowans are looking for.

“I ask you to join me in echoing the words of the prophet Isaiah: ‘Here I am, send me,’” he told voters in central Iowa, where his brightly painted tour bus bearing the slogan “Faith, Jobs and Freedom” stopped at Bloomers Coffee Shop in Fort Dodge and The Gigglin’ Goat reception hall in Boone.

Struggling to break into the top tier of candidates, Mr. Perry has lately tried to shift his campaign image from the job-creating Texas governor to that of a Washington outsider who values faith, protects life and wants to limit government.

At both stops, he won some scattered “amens” to his biblical references and prompted especially heavy applause when he mentioned signing a bill last summer to defund Planned Parenthood in Texas.

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