(Dave Weaver / Associated…)
Reporting from Wilton, Iowa — Rick Perry previewed the economic plan he will roll out on Tuesday, saying he would call for trashing the current tax code and replacing it with a flat tax, ending all earmarks, enacting a balanced budget amendment and reforming entitlements.
"It's time to get Washington out of the way in order for us to preserve the American way," Perry said. "The American people may be bruised but they're not broken and they want a new president who can deliver the hope and change that this one that we have today promised."
Perry made his remarks to 180 people gathered for a state politician's fundraiser on a 150-acre corn, alfalfa and soybean farm. With an enormous John Deere tractor as a backdrop, Perry talked about their shared rural roots.
"You learn a lot growing up on a farm, it doesn't make a difference whether it's Wilton, Iowa, or Paint Creek, Texas," he said. "There's just lots you learn growing up on a farm, it's universal. It's the value of hard work, it's duty to family, to country … Those values you learn on the farm are pretty good values for the president of the United States as well."
Perry said he was the consistent conservative in the GOP contest. He did not mention his rivals by name, but he did criticize former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's healthcare plan, saying it had cost the state 14,000 jobs and more than $8 billion.
Earlier in the day, Perry went pheasant hunting in the western part of the state with Rep. Steve King, an influential conservative who has not yet endorsed in the GOP race.
"I was excited about getting out, shooting a shotgun and seeing if I had lost my touch. And I haven't," Perry said, though he declined to say how many pheasants he killed.
Perry also signed Strong America Now's pledge to enact Lean Six Sigma, a waste-elimination process used in business, if elected president. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum have also signed the pledge.