For the latest round in the Jerry Brown-Rick Perry rivalry, the photo opportunity was especially promising: Perry, the Texas governor and self-proclaimed hunter of California jobs, cruising down L Street in a Tesla just days after the Brown administration announced it is considering steps to persuade the car’s maker to build a massive battery factory here.
The Palo Alto-based company’s Model S, Perry told reporters after pulling into the Hyatt Regency Hotel, would look good with a “Made in Texas” bumper sticker.
Perry has long boasted about recruiting businesses from California to Texas, but the rhetoric increased last year, when Perry ran a radio ad in California and Brown dismissed his effort as “barely a fart.”
On Tuesday, Brown’s office referred to that quote when asked for comment.
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With the Tesla behind him and his shades on, Perry criticized California’s tax and regulatory climate, as he has on previous visits, and he trumpeted the value of competition between states for jobs. Trying to recruit Tesla, he said, is “one of our goals, obviously.”
But when asked what incentives Texas was offering the company, he said, “I don’t know all of the different details about the incentive packages and what have you.”
In fact, Perry is not meeting with Tesla officials on this trip to California.
Who he was visiting with was Republican lawmakers, candidates and at least one very deep-pocketed GOP donor, Charles Munger Jr. Perry, a former presidential candidate who may run in 2016, talked briefly with Munger in the hotel lobby, before former state Sen. Jim Brulte, chairman of the California Republican Party, put his arm around Perry and walked with him to a meeting with lawmakers upstairs.