CORONA DEL MAR — With a distinct Texas drawl and plain-spoken message, GOP front-runner and Texas Gov. Rick Perry revved up his growing tea party base in Orange County on Thursday, joking the area is fancy like a raspberry or blueberry pie.
Drenched in sunlight at Roger's Gardens, hundreds of conservatives — many self-identifying as tea partiers — hooted and hollered as Perry railed against President Obama and big government.
"Mr. President, we can't spend our way to prosperity. It does not work," he said to raucous applause. "Don't spend all the money we have. They could learn a little of that in Sacramento."
After entering the race for the Republican nomination last month, Perry has leaped to the front of the pack, already ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep.Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
On Wednesday, Romney and Perry stood out during Wednesday's televised Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.