Employing similar tactics used in his recent business prospecting trips to California and Illinois, Texas Governor Rick Perry managed to make the most of President Obama’s highly politicized visit to Texas on Thursday by taking the opportunity to tout robust Texas job growth — and the GOP strategies that led to it. While the Governor met the President on the tarmac in Austin, the Governor’s office had already run a pointed ad in the Austin American-Statesman with the headline, “Mr. President — take a look at our successful “Texas Model,” followed by the same bold claims that Perry has consistently used in enticing businesses to relocate to the Lone Star State.
The crux of the ad states that the so-called “Texas model” created 530,000 net new jobs, all while the U.S. lost 2.5 million net new jobs over the past five years, and that, “Over the last 10 years, Texas created 33 percent of the net new jobs nationwide.”
Surprisingly, even Politifact, whose claims of nonpartisanship are often questioned by some in the conservative media, confirmed that Rick Perry’s claims were indeed accurate, giving the ad a resounding “true” rating on their truth-o-meter, citing several authorities in job data and employment statistics:
Perry said: “Over the last 10 years, Texas created 33 percent of the net new jobs nationwide.” That conclusion is supported by comparing state-by-state job gain estimates and a separate calculation of net job gains nationally, both by the federal government. This might be an imperfect way to explore this facet, but there also don’t appear to be better approaches.
We rate the claim as True.
Of course, this confirmation would not come as a surprise to Obama, as the President’s trip to Austin was spurred on by Texas’ unquestionable success in creating jobs and private sector growth, a rare bright spot in the U.S. economy that the President has sought to get some of his political fingerprints on. However, Governor Perry appears to have managed to make the most of Obama’s visit for his own political ends. Perry bookended Obama’s visit to Austin by drafting a highly publicized checklist for job growth using the same model that Texas has used over the past decade:
Welcome to the Lone Star State, Mr. President.
Because your visit is focused on the economy, we’d like to share how we’re creating jobs and opportunity in Texas. Here is a handy checklist for you to take back to Washington:
Lawsuit abuse reform
Predictable and effective regulations
Accountable schools and a competitive workforce
The Texas Model works:
• While the U.S. lost 2.5 million net jobs over the last five years, Texas created 530,000 net new jobs.
• Over the last 10 years, Texas created 33 percent of the net new jobs nationwide.
• Texas has been the top exporting state in the nation for 11 straight years.
• Texas is ranked #1 on CNBC’s 2012 Top States for Business list.
And just this week, Chief Executive magazine ranked Texas the best state to do business for the ninth year in a row, and Site Selection Magazine ranked us the most competitive state in 2012. Mr. President, the Texas Success Story can be the American Success Story.
Absent from much of the news coverage surrounding the President’s visit to Austin is exactly what he gained politically from the trip, as Perry once again appeared to have effectively newsjacked Obama’s appearance to promote Texas’ successes. However, the mainstream media appeared to be working off of the same talking points for Obama’s visit, with a CBS News headline of, “Obama: ‘We’re poised for progress.'” an ABC News headline of, “President Obama Declares Economy ‘Poised for Progress,’” and an NBC News headline of, “Obama to Texas students: ‘We’re poised for progress,'” reducing Perry’s gambit to a mere footnote.
However, while the President continues to promise America that the country is “poised for progress” some five and half years into his Presidency, progress in job growth has continued to be the norm in Texas for all of that time.