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Perry: 'America is the Saudi Arabia of coal'

Perry said his plan would create 1.2 million new jobs without having to seek major action in Congress. He promised to roll out other proposals in the coming days, but emphasized that in his view, "Creating jobs in America is as simple as changing presidents" because of the president's ability to regulate or deregulate the energy industry. 

If the "Saudi Arabia" line sounds familiar, it has been said before. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani used it in a 2008 presidential debate — and the nonpartisan grou PolitiFact found it to be true.

The line also appeared in a 2003 episode of political television drama "The West Wing," albeit with a different emphasis. "Like it or not, we're the Saudi Arabia of coal. Coal's what we've got," said the show's Democratic chief of staff, Leo McGarry.

For the full coverage on Perry's speech on The Hill's Ballot Box, click here.


—Cameron Joseph and Joshua Altman contributed to this story.