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At the same time, he points out that “80 percent of the job created in the United States since 2005 were created in Texas.”

“That’s net, after you subtract the jobs lost,” he noted, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.

Asked why he did not want to transfer those job-creating skills to the White House, Mr. Perry said, “Because of what I want to see Washington become — I want to send someone to the White House who will stand up and make the federal government as inconsequential in your lives as possible.”

He took direct aim at a subject rarely if ever addressed by candidates in either party, saying that the civil rights debates of the 1960s — while reaching a just conclusion — took the wrong route by greatly expanding federal powers under the Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause.

After his Washington visit, Mr. Perry was headed to New York for an interview with cable’s Comedy Central political satirist Jon Stewart, a noted critic of conservatives.

Why Mr. Stewart? “Because he is the No. 2 book reviewer in America, behind Oprah,” he said.

Asked what newspapers and magazines he reads, the governor said he takes the Dallas Morning News and Austin Statesman at home and reads assiduously on the Internet.

For overseas news, “I read the Jewish press — and the Wall Street Journal,” he said.

Mr. Perry, who first ascended to the governorship in 2000 when predecessor George W. Bush was elected president, said that history would judge Mr. Bush kindly for his foreign policy, but not his excessive spending and expansion of government.