Texas Gov. Rick Perry Breaks From GOP Establishment, Blasts McCain and Romney in CPAC Speech

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – MARCH 14: Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) March 14, 2013 in National Harbor, Maryland. A slate of important conserative leaders are slated to speak during the the American Conservative Union’s annual conference. Credit: Getty Images

After beginning his speech with the line “God bless Texas” at CPAC Thursday afternoon, Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the popular media narrative that the U.S. has shifted away from conservatism is false. He slammed the establishment GOP for not nominating true conservatives in the last two elections.

“That’s what they think. That’s what they say,” Perry said. “That might be true if Republicans had actually nominated conservative candidates in 2008 and 2012.”

Obviously, the Texas governor was referring to failed GOP presidential candidates Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mitt Romney. By his estimation, neither one is actually a conservative.

“But now we are told that our party must shift to appeal to the growing Hispanic demographic,” Perry added. “Let me say something about what appeals to Hispanics in states like Texas. It is the free enterprise agenda that allows small businesses to prosper, free of government interference. It is the policies that value the family unit as the best and closest form of government. It’s the belief in life and the faith in God.”

Watch the video of Perry’s speech below:

(H/T: Real Clear Politics)