Wilkins Gives Strong Endorsement
Texas Gov. Rick Perry drew the largest crowd ever assembled at Tommy’s Country Ham House in Greenville, Saturday morning. Tommy Stevenson has fed thousands of political activists through the years, but this was literally a packed house with no more standing room available.
The crowd inside the restaurant was estimated at more than 300 seated and another 200 standing and more than 100 outside unable to get inside.
Perry had made an appearance on Main Street the night before accompanied by the mayor until a sudden rain storm drove the candidate and his aides back on their bus.
He was scheduled to speak at the Ham House at 9 a. m. and the seats were all filled before 8 a.m. The media was well-represented, with cameras lining one entire wall. Scores of individuals were also equipped with cameras, hoping to get a good shot of the Texan that has been labeled by some female supporters as a “modern Marlboro Man.”
Katon Dawson, the popular former state GOP chairman, was first to step to the microphone and introduce former ambassador David Wilkins, who introduced Gov. and Mrs. Perry.
Wilkins who is also former speaker of the SC House of Representatives drew parallels between himself and Perry. They both graduated from land grant colleges, Perry from Texas A&M and Wilkins from Clemson. They both served a tour in the military and began their political careers in the state house. As young men, “we both had a full head of hair,” Wilkins quipped.
Perry spoke no more than 5 minutes from the podium. His bottom line was jobs. He will cut taxes, reduce regulations, get lawyers and government out of business and “get America back to work again.”
Perry is a fifth generation Texan, the son of a tenant farmer. He is an Eagle Scout, graduated from Texas A&M, was commissioned in the US Air Force and became a C-130 pilot.
At age 61 he has won 9 elections for 4 different offices in Texas State Government. He has been Governor of Texas for 11 years, longer than any governor in the nation.
He has never lost an election. He was Lt. Governor when George W. Bush was elected President and replaced him.
Texas, like South Carolina, is a right-to-work state with no income nor capital gains tax. Perry signed ground-breaking loser pay tort reform and medical litigation rules that caused malpractice insurance rates to fall. Since the legislation was passed, some 20,000 doctors have moved to Texas.
Perry is a ferocious defender of the 10th Amendment and the right to bear arms. When at home in Austin he jogs every morning with his daughter’s dog without a body guard. He carries a laser guided automatic pistol in his belt.