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Perry Plays Off Eastwood Ad, Calls for White House Game Change

Texas Gov. Rick Perry came back onto the conservative stage with a tongue in cheek take on actor Clint Eastwood's controversial "Halftime in America" Super Bowl ad.

In his second speech since dropping out of the GOP presidential race, Perry told the CPAC crowd, "If it's halftime in America, I am fearful of what the final score is going to be if we let this president start the second half as the quarterback."

Perry went on to insist the federal government has overstepped its primary role of providing security and ventured far down a path of unnecessary oversight.

Eastwood's Chrysler ad has gotten a lot of attention. In it, he says, "the country can't be knocked out with one punch ... our second half is about to begin." Since the big game, Eastwood has insisted he was sending an inspirational message, not a political one. But, Democrats claim the ad is an endorsement of President Obama's auto bailout.

For his part, Perry told CPAC, "Washington is too busy regulating our freedom to fulfill its basic responsibilities and obligations."

This wasn't Perry's only tongue-in-cheek football reference. The Texas A&M grad also joked "Aggies never lose, we just ran out of time."

Perry says he is proud the remaining candidates are talking about his ideas, like what he calls "the war on religion." Even so, he made no mention of Newt Gingrich, the candidate he has endorsed, in this CPAC speech or a speech he gave at a Reagan Day dinner earlier this week in Texas.

Perry will return to Washington in March to Keynote the Gridiron dinner.