Conservative Perry strikes moderate tone in farewell speech

By WILL WEISSERT
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry is using his farewell speech to urge compromise and governance that extends across ideological lines.

The comments are a departure from Perry's strongly conservative past and suggests a possible move to the middle ahead of an expected 2016 presidential run.

Perry told a special joint session of the Legislature on Thursday that "compromise is not a dirty word if it moves Texas forward."

A more moderate side to the longest-serving governor in Texas history comes as he may have to outflank ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on the White House campaign trail.

Perry leaves office Tuesday and plans to announce as soon as May whether he'll run again for president.

He has said he's more humbled and better prepared than his short-lived 2012 presidential bid.

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