Perry employed a number of applause lines in the soapbox speech at the state fair, organized by the Des Moines Register and broadcast online. He talked up a strong military and American exceptionalism, and his record of job creation as governor.

"We need to have an America-first theory in our government. We need to be helping the United States. We need to be freeing this country from overregulation, overtaxation, overlitigation," he said. "I am a pro-business governor, I don't make any apologies about it, and I will be a pro-business president."

Perry labeled some regulations "idiotic" and expressed vocal support for the Second Amendment, making reference to the time he once shot a threatening coyote while going for a run with his dog.

The speech delivered red meat to Iowa voters on Perry's second straight day in the caucus state, following the launch of his campaign in South Carolina on Saturday. He'll be slingshotting between those two states and New Hampshire throughout the week as he works to get his bid for the Republican presidential nomination off the ground.