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On jobs, Romney says Perry's been a lucky poker player

September 12, 2011|By James Oliphant
(Scott Audette/Reuters )

Mitt Romney just went all Kenny Rogers on Rick Perry at the CNN/Tea Party debate, continuing to challenge Rick Perry’s jobs record while Perry has been governor of Texas.

“If you’ve got four aces, that doesn’t necessarily make you a great poker player,” Romney said.

Romney’s remark came in response to a question about how each of the eight candidates would improve the economy. He said that Perry had operated under favorable conditions in Texas, including the absence of a state income tax, plentiful oil and gas reserves, and a GOP Legislature.

The former Massachusetts governor initially resisted criticizing Perry on jobs, but was egged on by moderator Wolf Blitzer. Perry helpfully put his hand on Romney's arm as Blitzer pressed him.

But Perry was less amused after Romney’s answer.  “You were doing pretty good until you got to talking poker,” he deadpanned.

Perry also ripped President Obama’s proposed jobs plan, suggesting that it would amount to a stimulus that costs half as much. The first stimulus, he said, created no jobs. “I can do the math on that question,” Perry said. “Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs.

“People are tired of spending money we don’t have on programs we don’t want,” Perry said.

Michele Bachmann cited her opposition to raising the federal government’s debt ceiling. And she called for a tax "holiday" on repatriated corporate profits for international companies.

“It really isn't that tough if you try,” Bachmann said. “It’s easy to turn around this economy. Just have the backbone to do it. “

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