ANAHEIM - Texas Gov. Rick Perry blamed President Barack Obama on Friday for the federal government shutdown, saying it is Obama's job to negotiate but that he is "hell-bent" on protecting implementation of the federal healthcare overhaul, his signature legislative achievement.
"The president of the United States' job is to negotiate," the Republican governor told reporters at the fall convention of the California Republican Party. "I have never seen a president stand up and just blatantly say, 'I'm not going to negotiate with you in any form or fashion."
Obama and House Republicans are at an impasse on a federal spending bill, with Republicans demanding changes to the three-year-old health care law.
Perry said, "The president seems to be willing to stop the government from functioning in all areas ... to make a political point."
Perry is at the convention to criticize the state's business climate and promote conditions in Texas, a reprise of a February visit in which he sparred over the airwaves with Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.
Critics have said the trips have little value other than to keep Perry in the public eye ahead of a potential second run for president in 2016. Asked about a recent Bloomberg report in which Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was quoted suggesting as much, Perry noted that Newsom has taken trips to Texas seeking ideas that could be applied in California's to improve the business climate.
PHOTO: Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the opening session of the 83rd Texas Legislature in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 8, 2013. Associated Press/Eric Gay