Reporting Lisa Fielding
CHICAGO (CBS) — Governor Rick Perry says competition is a good thing.
“Listen, you fish where the fish are.”
The former Republican Presidential candidate says that’s why he’s here in Illinois to talk to businesses about why they should consider moving to Texas.
“Illinois is known as a place that’s pretty tough to do business in.”
Perry arrived in Illinois Monday on a mission to lure away the state’s businesses, blast its financial problems and spark a little interstate rivalry with a simple message to Gov. Pat Quinn.
“I wouldn’t mind being able having a company that expanded or even relocated to Texas. I also hope we can stimulate a conversation with elected officials that you gotta get your spending under control, you gotta deal with your pensions, you gotta have a tax and a regulatory and a legal environment that are conducive to job creation and in term the creation of wealth that drive the resources that flow into your state.”
Gov. Pat Quinn’s office has dismissed Perry’s trip as a publicity stunt but Perry says that’s ok.
“I don’t completely disagree with him. Advertising does work. The semantics of all this oh he’s coming to poach jobs, no we’re not, we’re giving people options,” said Perry.
Quinn called Perry a ‘big talker’.
“We don’t need any advice from Gov. (Rick) Perry.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel took jabs at Perry as well. He mentioned Texas’ historic drought problems and referred to one of Perry’s most well-known presidential campaigns gaffes. Emanuel said that at a debate Perry forgot one of the three federal agencies he’d promised to eliminate.
“They’re experiencing an unbelievable drought and here in Illinois, we don’t have to measure our showers like they do in Texas and I’ll give the Governor three reasons why jobs are coming to the city of Chicago. I hope he remembers all three reasons,” said Emanuel.
Perry addressed Texas’ historic drought water concerns by saying the state is working on a 50-year plan.
Perry says Texas’ competition with Illinois began when Boeing decided to move their corporate headquarters to Chicago in 2001.
“Over the last decade, Austin, Houston, Dallas have made a lot of changes and lured more cultural destinations to the state. The main reason Boeing moved to Chicago was because the executives spouses thought Chicago had a more diverse cultural community but we’ve come a long way since then.”
“Though the state has many strong points, it is no secret that Illinois’ financial flaws are a downfall for business owners and residents,” Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford said in a statement. “Texas Governor Rick Perry’s attempt to get Illinois businesses to move to Texas should sound an alarm to state leaders.”
It’s not the first time Illinois has been a target of such poaching attempts; governors in Indiana, Wisconsin and New Jersey have also tried it.
Many competing states have taken advantage of Illinois poor business climate, including the nation’s worst pension problem, lowered credit ratings and high taxes.