URBANDALE, Iowa -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday warned that President Obama's health reform law could result in the death of ill patients, relating the story of a cancer patient he met Tuesday at a campaign stop in Creston, Iowa.
"She came up to me and she said 'Governor, if you don't get rid of Obamacare, I'm dead," he recounted. "She said they will never take care of me. And that's a powerful testimony by that lady."
The governor, who won cheers for his promise to use an executive order to gut the law, though most of the health reform law's major components haven't gone into effect yet. Perry spoke to a packed house at the biweekly breakfast meeting of the Westside Conservative Club at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Urbandale.
Perry, a veteran who served in the United States Air Force, also unveiled a new swipe at Obama for failing to schedule a "simple parade" for soldiers returning from Iraq.
"It really disturbs me that nearly after 10 years of war that this president wouldn't welcome home those heroes with a simple parade," he said, briefly appearing to become emotional. "Maybe it's because this war is unpopular with the Democrats, I don't know. But Mr. President, our soldiers come first."
The Texas governor, who has been haunted by a memorable debate gaffe from the CNBC debate last month, found himself in a refreshing position at the start of the event: correcting someone else's oops.
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a top surrogate for Perry, especially on the issue of immigration, introduced the candidate at the breakfast meeting, beginning his remarks with a shout out to the "Buckeyes."
The home team for fans of the University of Iowa is the Hawkeyes; the Buckeyes are the mascot of Ohio State University. The crowd laughed and booed as Arpaio joked, "It's 3 o'clock Phoenix time."
Taking the microphone minutes later, Perry leapt in for the save, referencing another college team with dedicated fans in the state.
"Actually, there's probably some Cyclones in this crowd," he said, referencing Iowa State's team, after teasing Arpaio for the error.