Rick Perry (Credit: Getty Images)
David Jackson, USA TODAY
President Obama is headed back to Texas this week, and Republican governor Rick Perry couldn't be happier about it.
When he visits Austin on Thursday, Obama "will find a state that has been very successful in creating jobs and a healthy state economy," Perry said in a statement.
While welcoming Obama to his state, the former -- and perhaps future -- GOP presidential candidate also echoed some of his criticisms of the president's economic agenda.
"Texas' combination of a balanced budget, low taxes, predictable regulations, meaningful tort reform and an education system that promotes the STEM fields and prepares our workforce to compete for the jobs of the future is a blueprint for job creation for other states and our nation," Perry said.
Obama might agree with some of that statement, but argue that congressional Republicans have blocked some of his proposals, including investments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and research.
The Austin trip begins a series of "Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tours" for the president, White House aides said. Obama will travel to cities in which entrepreneurs and educations are working together to create high-skill, high-paying jobs.
"He will visit these places to learn what has helped them become successful and use these models of growth to encourage Congress to act," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
Obama was just in Texas two weeks ago, for the dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas and a memorial service for the victims of a fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West.
As part of his new jobs tour, Obama also plans to push Congress on a second-term agenda that includes a major immigration bill and a new debt reduction plan that includes higher taxes on the wealthy.
"Things are getting better, but our economic recovery is not as strong as it could be," Earnest said. "The question is: will Congress join with the president to make sure the middle class is strong and secure?"