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Perry Criticizes Romneycare and U.S. Trade Policy

5:25 PM, Aug 25, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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In his first national radio interview since announcing his campaign for president, Rick Perry criticized Mitt Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts, The Hill's Michael reports:

The Massachusetts healthcare law passed by Mitt Romney (R) as governor is a "huge problem," Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said Thursday of his top competitor for the GOP presidential nomination.

Perry assailed the state healthcare law for its similarities to President Obama's nationwide healthcare reform law, which the Texan called a "total debacle."

 "I think Mitt is finally recognizing that the Massachusetts healthcare plan he passed is a huge problem for him," Perry said on conservative talker Laura Ingraham's radio show. "It was not almost perfect."

You can listen to the interview here:

Around the six-minute mark, Ingraham asks Perry how he'd respond to China's growing military and economic power. Perry initially responded with vague generalities, but pressed for specifics he said that, first of all, he'd get the economy back on track. "If you don't have a strong economy, your foreign policy means nothing," he said. Perry criticized the Obama administration for cutting off funding for the F-22 fighter jet.

Perry was also (vaguely) critical of U.S. trade policy. Ingraham asked Perry: "Do you think our trade policies have been working for the American family vis-a-vis China or other many of the other countries that have been growing incredibly fast right now?"

"I don't think our trade policies have been working for years, frankly, from the standpoint of being in the best interest of our families," Perry replied. "Do we need to trade? Absolutely. Am I a free trader? Yes. But I'm a fair trader. Just because we pass a free trade agreement with a country doesn't mean we need to put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage to make their diplomatic people smile at us. I mean we need to be tough traders. But Im telling you, we can't be tough traders, we can't be [a] foreign policy impactful country until we get this economy" turned around.

A Perry spokesman did not immediately respond to an email asking for details on which aspects of U.S. trade policy Perry would like to change.

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