ATLANTA, Ga.—Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said today that “over-taxation and over-regulation” are stifling economic growth in the United States.

Perry, who spoke at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta along with other Republican candidates for president, also criticized President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran.

“He’s issued these lawless executive orders and now he wants to bypass Congress with this agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Perry said. “Instead of speaking to the legitimate concerns of those who oppose that agreement, he speaks dismissively and derisively of us.”

Perry condemned the president’s remark that the Republican caucus is in “common cause” with the hardliners in Iran.

“This presidency has become the imperial petulancy,” Perry said. “He has become our nation’s chief cynic.”

“We do not have to settle for a world in chaos or an America that shrinks from its responsibilities,” Perry said. “We don’t have to apologize for American exceptionalism or Western values.”

Perry said it’s impossible to reduce carbon emissions without regulation by the government.

“We can do this in America,” Perry said. “We don’t have to strangle this country with these EPA regulations.”

Perry joked about his appearance in the 5 p.m. debate last night rather than the prime time one.

“I was up late last night,” Perry said. “Not as late as I wanted to be. Anyway, it was awesome.”