Texas Gov. Rick Perry, visiting the hometown of executed journalist James Foley on Saturday, praised him for showing "what courage is all about," and called for the United States to more forcefully address the Islamic State's threat in Iraq.
"They are now stronger than al-Qaida ever was," the Republican governor told journalists in Rochester, N.H., Saturday, reports The Washington Post
. "We've come to one of those moments in history where American action will be decisive and inaction will be consequential."
Perry, speaking at a "Defend Freedom" pork roast thrown by the Concerned Veterans for America, a conservative group backed by the Koch brothers. said that Foley "went into a dangerous part of the world to shine a bright light into dark places. It was a very important job that James Foley was engaged in."
Perry, who is visiting several states this month while building momentum for a potential 2016 presidential campaign in the wake of indictments filed against him in his home state, posed for photos
with veterans at the event, while telling reporters he did not visit with Foley's family because he respects their privacy.
Perry also was visiting the Merrimack County Republican Party's picnic on Saturday before wrapping up his New Hampshire trip. The last time he visited the state was during the January 2012 campaign, which ended after he received less than one percent of the state's vote.
Also on Saturday, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu introduced the Texas governor at a New Hampshire Republican Party.
After he leaves New Hampshire this weekend, Perry will head to South Carolina, where he'll cheer on Texas A&M in its football game against the University of South Carolina and attend a "victory tailgate" state GOP fundraiser.
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