Earlier this afternoon, I caught up with Texas Governor Rick Perry, who later spoke at CPAC and garnered a rousing reception — as he usually does when addressing large audiences. He’s equally comfortable with one-on-one interviews, as you’ll see in this video. Early on, I ask Governor Perry about aspirations for national office, and he parries that by saying that his mission these days is to make Washington “irrelevant.” Perry will take on several high-profile fights to defend Texas’ jurisdiction against incursions by the federal government, especially against the EPA after the agency ruled that Texas could no longer manage its own environmental protection efforts. He insists that his interests lie at the state levels, hoping to push back Beltway incursion so that states can run their own business.

Actually, he means that literally.  Texas enjoyed the most robust population growth of the last decade, which resulted in transfers of four seats in the House from other states in the US.  I asked Governor Perry how Texas on his watch — he has been Governor for almost the entire inter-Census period — attracted so many new residents.  Perry’s answer sounds like a national prescription rather than just a state-based policy, but hey … his mileage may vary.

Tags: Texas