Perry slams Obama on national security
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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) went after President Obama on national security Thursday morning in New Hampshire, ripping the president for his handling of the Middle East, Ukraine and the border with Mexico.

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Perry, a likely presidential contender, ticked off global hotspots from Iran to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to Ukraine to the Mexican border to argue that President Obama was failing to lead around the world, and call for a more muscular approach to foreign policy.

"Our country has entered a time of testing, and our political leadership is failing that test," Perry said before mentioning his time in the Air Force during his speech at St. Anselm College's Politics & Eggs breakfast, a frequent draw for presidential aspirants.

Perry's decision to lead his speech with national security rather than focusing on Texas's economic growth is notable — it shows he's looking to prove he's ready to be commander in chief and is up to speed on global issues in a year where the GOP primary looks increasingly focused on international threats.

"It's weakness and vacillation … that endanger the peace of the world and that drive global chaos. For the world to be safer, I believe in all of my heart that America must be stronger," he continued. "Our allies doubt us and our enemies, our adversaries are all too willing to test us. And too often today we negotiate treaties and cease-fire agreements from a position of weakness, not a position of strength."

Perry used the second half of the speech to talk about the Lone Star State's fast-growing economy and rip Democrats' economic views.

"Liberals in Washington have spent 30 years criticizing Reaganomics while at the same time practicing trickle-down liberalism," he said. "Their view is clear — give more power and money to the federal government, let the liberal elites take care of their pet causes, and you leave an ever-shrinking pie for middle-class Americans.

"Instead of expanding the welfare state, we've built a freedom state," he said, touting Texas's economy before arguing that lower corporate tax rates would increase economic growth and middle-class wages.

"There's nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed with a change in leadership," he said.