BOSTON -- In what one of the event hosts jokingly called "campaigning in enemy territory," a jocular Rick Perry took the stage in Mitt Romney's home state of Massachusetts last night with plenty of quips and pushed his Social Security position. The Texas governor also sustained attacks on Romney and President Obama, specifically on his trip to Columbus, Ohio, yesterday. He even had a compliment for former Democratic governor of Texas, Ann Richards.
At an awards dinner sponsored by a think tank dedicated to rewarding government innovation, Perry offered an aggressive post-debate rebuttal to Romney on Social Security.
"When it comes to Social Security, every Republican candidate knows that the current system is unsustainable with an unfunded liability and trillions of dollars,” Perry said to a packed ballroom. “Other candidates in this race use words like fraud and compared it to a criminal enterprise. And under the media spotlight, they change their tune and they start sounding like liberals.”
This comes after Romney criticized Perry on his Social Security stance at Monday’s GOP debate. Perry has called the retirement scheme a "Ponzi scheme," but last night dialed back his earlier statements questioning it constitutionality.
Perry kept digging at Romney throughout his appearance here.
"Republican primary voters want candidates, who not only campaign like conservatives, but they also govern that way too," he said. "I know I can be hard on Massachusetts from time to time, especially Massachusetts politicians.
Perry also attacked Obama's jobs plan, calling it too expensive.
"There ought to be a 12-step program in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “First, admit you are powerless over your spending addiction and that your budget has become unmanageable.”
In typical fashion, the Texas governor called for less federal involvement in issues he believes should be handled by the states, or "50 laboratories of innovation."
"Not every good idea is implemented by Washington, D.C.," Perry said. "No political party has a monopoly on good ideas."