Texas Gov. Rick Perry is countering Gov. Andrew Cuomo's latest initiative to lure businesses from out of state with a renewed bid to snag jobs from New York, a tactic he has tried from coast to coast.
Perry, a Republican, is slated to be in Manhattan on Wednesday to meet business owners and try to convince them to move their operations to Texas, where he says the business climate is friendlier.
"Business men and women in New York know instinctively that they are taxed too much, the regulatory climate is too onerous," Perry said during a radio interview with New York Post columnist Fred Dicker on Tuesday.
Perry would not detail how many business meetings he has or with whom.
He said he'd like to debate Cuomo, a Democrat, over economic policies.
"I'd be more than happy to sit down and have a thoughtful conversation, a debate with Gov. Cuomo over the issues that face us as a state and talk about the economic policies and compare New York to Texas," Perry said.
Cuomo's $100 million Start-Up NY initiative, which allows businesses that locate near college campuses to operate tax-free for 10 years, is being touted in TV commercials playing in Texas.
Texas has also bought promotional airtime in New York in recent years.
While Perry praised Cuomo for the initiative and his advocacy for charter schools, he managed to throw some jabs as well.
Last week, the pro-business and conservative-leaning Tax Foundation, of Washington, D.C., announced that changes in New York tax policy mean that its ranking of the state will improve from last to 48th nationally, a development Perry sniped at.
"That's kind of small ball but the fact is, there was only one direction you could go in New York," Perry said of the rating bump.
With potential presidential runs in 2016 for both Perry and Cuomo, the Republican said he'd wait until next year to make a decision.
A spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association said in an email, "a little free advice for Rick Perry: the fewer debates with anyone, the better. Oops." It included a link to a video of Perry during the Republican Presidential Debate in 2011 when he forgot the name of the third agency he would eliminate if he were to become president.
A spokesman for Cuomo did not initially respond to Perry's request.