After punting yet again on the specifics of his economics plan, it seemed like Rick Perry spent a lot of time last night talking about the energy industry. I made a note to myself, wanting to be sure that I wasn't being unfair.
I wasn't. Perry leaned on his unspecific, deregulation-centric energy plan for four of the seven questions he got. His first answer:
One of the things that I laid out today I think is a pretty bold plan, to put 1.2 million Americans working in the energy industry. And you don't need Congress to do that.
To Charlie Rose's question "what is the plan? What will you say specifically?"
Well, clearly, opening up a lot of the areas of our domestic energy area. That's the real key. You have got an administration that, by and large, has either by intimidation or over-regulation, put our energy industry and the rest of the economy in jeopardy.
To a question about Chinese currency manipulation:
[L]et me tell you, we are sitting on this absolute treasure trove of energy in this country. And I don't need 999. We don't need any plan to pass Congress. We need to get a president of the United States that is committed to passing the types of regulations, pulling the regulations back, freeing this country to go develop the energy industry that we have in this country.
On whether health care mandates are constitutional:
There are people sitting out there around the kitchen table watching TV tonight who are looking for someone to lay out an idea that truly will get this country back working again. And that's why I lay out, without having any congressional impact of all, how to get our energy industry back to work, and back to work very quickly.
I had some trouble remembering what this all reminded me of. Then it hit me: This is what congressional Republicans say. When the party in the House claims that it's passed job-creating legislation that Obama won't touch, it's mostly talking about several drilling re-licensing bills and regulation rollback bills. Perry sounded hapless, but he's well within the party mainstream as he describes Drilling Here and Drilling Now as a cure-all.
Oh, and it reminded me of this: