As Rick Perry sees it, it's the 1980 election cycle all over again, and he's here to turn the country around—Reagan-style.
In an interview with Sean Hannity broadcast Thursday night, Perry fashioned himself, as he has in recent months, as the only presidential contender with enough executive experience to fix what needs mending in America. "We've been down before," Perry said, ticking off a list of events from the late 1970s and early 1980s to support his metaphor: the grain embargo, the Iran hostage crisis, low participation in the workforce, and the Olympic boycott.
"Ten years later, we saw the Berlin Wall fall and Soviet communism defeated because we elected a president that believed and knew that when America is strong, the world is safer," said the former two-term Texas governor. "It's time to do that again."
Perry's appearance on Hannity's Fox News show was taped just after he announced his intention to run for president on Thursday. Backed by a throng of supporters at the interview—one of whom carried a homemade sign featuring Perry's now-signature glasses—he said the 2016 Republican field is a talented one. But he emphasized that the focus should be "not who gives the most explosive speech and maybe has you on the edge of your chair," but who has the most impressive record of leadership.