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Why Was Rick Perry Driving a Tesla in California?


"The only way to make this car faster is to make it in Texas."

Image: Twitter.com

Yes, that's Rick Perry, the Republican governor of an oil-rich state, driving an electric car in California on Tuesday.

He had a good reason for doing so.

Image: KCRA screen capture Image source: KCRA-TV

The Texas governor was in California in part looking to lure some jobs to the Lone Star state -- specifically, he's hoping to bag thousands of jobs from Tesla Motors.

Image source: Twitter.com Image source: Twitter

Driving a Tesla S, Perry arrived the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento where he found the press waiting to speak with him.

For the past few years, Perry has been campaigning in states including California and Colorado, hoping to lure companies to Texas by promoting his state's low taxes and right-to-work status. Tesla is looking to build a $5 billion battery manufacturing facility to support its growing car business. The plant would bring a reported 6,500 manufacturing jobs wherever it is built.

Perry was also tweeting about his hopes to bring Tesla to Texas.

"Competition is a good thing," Perry told reporters. Asked by one reporter about "poaching California jobs and taking them to Texas," Perry said he doesn't use the word "poaching."

"It’s giving people the opportunity," he said.

California's legislature is working to keep Tesla in the state by offering a massive package of tax incentives. There is even a bipartisan coalition working to expedite the permitting process in an effort to get Tesla to commit to staying in the state.

Perry predicted it wouldn't work: "There’s a real cause and effect here – over-taxation, over-regulation and over-litigation."

Despite Perry's close proximity to the offices of California Gov. Jerry Brown, the two did not meet during this trip. Brown's office told KCRA Perry's visit was a "cheap publicity stunt."


Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.



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