Perry pledges to 'uproot, tear down and rebuild' Washington
November 15th, 2011
12:16 PM ET
2 years ago

Perry pledges to 'uproot, tear down and rebuild' Washington

Bettendorf, Iowa (CNN) - Casting Washington as a latter-day Roman Empire, bloated and "mired in ruin," Texas Gov. Rick Perry unveiled a drastic plan to overhaul the federal government Tuesday in a policy speech in Iowa.

"It is time to tear down the monuments to bureaucratic failure, and in their place build a smaller, more efficient federal government that puts the American people first," Perry said at a manufacturing facility in Bettendorf. "The Washington insiders won't address Beltway decay, they won't try a totally new way, because they like things as they are."

Perry said he would "uproot, tear down and rebuild" the three branches of government as president:

- He said he would eliminate the Commerce Department, the Department of Education and the Department of Energy along with restructuring the Department of Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency.

- Repeating a proposal first introduced in his book "Fed Up," Perry said he would install term limits on "unelected activist judges."

- Pointing to the part-time legislature in Texas, he proposed creating a "part-time Congress" by drastically slashing legislative salaries and reducing the amount of time members of the House and Senate are required to spend in Washington.

And, on the heels of a "60 Minutes" report about members of Congress using privileged information to cash in on stock trades, Perry said that "any congressman or senator that uses their insider knowledge to profit in the stock market ought to be sent to jail - period."

"It is time to tear down the monuments to bureaucratic failure, and in their place build a smaller, more efficient federal government that puts the American People first," Perry said, declaring himself the only true outsider in the Republican presidential field.

He was joined at the event by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, one of Perry's earliest backers in the presidential race.

The two conducted a town hall style meeting after the speech and fielded questions about the airliner industry, funding for the space program and a "personhood" amendment, defeated last week in Mississippi, that would have defined human life as beginning at conception.

Critics said the measure would have criminalized some forms of birth control.

Perry pledged to appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court in hopes of overturning Roe vs. Wade, and explained that states should be allowed to make their own decisions on the matter until a constitutional amendment banning the practice is passed.

A spokesman for Perry clarified after the speech that Perry supported the Mississippi personhood amendment.

Also following the speech, Iowa City resident Gary Fisher asked Perry exactly what steps he would take to shut down the Energy Department - the agency that now famously slipped his mind at a debate in Michigan last week.

Perry said he would do so by "basically defunding" the department.

Later Tuesday, Perry was set to attend a closed-door meeting with Iowa evangelical pastors in Des Moines.

Also see:

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Cain stumbles over Libya


Gloria Cain: I never believed allegations were true


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Perry
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. bearced

    Haven't we heard this in every election since Nixon?

    November 15, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Corporations R. People II

    Slick needs to go back to TX, reinvest in the state's education, and gracefully bow out of politics for good.

    November 15, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Drew

    Go big or go home Rick..what a clod buster this chump is. He's gonna run the government all by hisself by gum!!

    November 15, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Skokie

    UPROOT and TEARDOWN thats exactly what I am afraid of.

    November 15, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Jake

    Just succeed from the USA of, Mr. Perry (without Texas...just you!)

    November 15, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. jmyer

    What does Perry think? He can just storm into Washington and with a wand, abollish everything? He doesn't have a clue as to how the government works. The President has just so much power and there are two other branches of government that the President has to work with. The President doesn't make all the decisions on his own. maybe he can do this in Texas (I doubt it) but that isn't the way our government works.

    November 15, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Robert

    So, wait: You want term limits for "Activist Judges" but will install your own "Activist Judges" To overturn Roe V. Wade.... um, HELLO?!?!!

    Furthermore, he states the beltway folks won't do anything different, but that when he's there he'll make them. How?

    November 15, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. one voice

    Fired before you even started. DE-REGULATION is what put us here, GET LOST!!!

    November 15, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Mitt Romney @ Bain Capital posing with Dollar Bill$$ like a Gangstar while shipping American jobs to China

    Perry should NOT be allowed to tear down ANYTHING!...he should rather get himself checked-in first into a mental ward for showing early signs of mental paralysis!!!

    November 15, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    nothing but red-meat for the sheep. he doesn't stand a chance and should go back to third-world Texas

    November 15, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Max

    Uproot, tear down and rebuild,

    Perry actually needs to uproot, tear down and rebuild HIMSELF if he intends to progress in the primary process. He needs to uproot by learning to give a decent speech, tear down his racial barriers and bias and rebuild his ability to debate. To achieve ALL this he should seriously consider pursuing a crash course at A & M university in public speaking, another in debating skills and a third in respecting ethnic diversity.

    Go for it now Perry, uproot yourself, tear down your personal barriers and biases, and rebuilding your public image.

    November 15, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. enuff

    How does he propose, since he is just one person, to clean out an entire government and start over? That doesn't sound like a demoncratic process to me. As far as cutting congress's time – they already have too much time off. Make them earn their salaries, not give them an extended vacation.

    November 15, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. coy4one

    Of course, what Perry does not tell you is that all of this is based on Republicans taking control of Congress, of which based on current polls is unlikely. He also does not tell you that in order to close and restructure these said departments, it would take an astronomical amount of taxpayer funding of which there is none right now. So, this sounds more like selling "snake oil" than it does reality.

    November 15, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    Ooooops. Perry wants to do away with important branches of government. He is definitely not presidential.

    November 15, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. one voice

    Didn't you already cook your goose Rick, JUST GO HOME.........

    November 15, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Max

    Uproot, tear down and rebuild,

    Perry actually needs to uproot, tear down and rebuild HIMSELF if he intends to progress in the primary process. He needs to uproot by learning to give a decent speech, tear down his racial barriers and biases, and rebuild his ability to debate. To achieve ALL this he should seriously consider pursuing a crash course at A & M university in public speaking, another in debating skills and a third in respecting ethnic diversity.

    Go for it now Perry, uproot yourself, tear down your personal barriers and biases, and rebuild your public image. DO IT NOW! No time to waste!

    November 15, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. mesamick

    Atta boy Ricky Bobby...Lets just throw away 230 years of trying to "form a more perfect union" and cancel the entire 20th century of governance in the process...This is what being a "compassionate conservative christian" means folks – You up for that?

    November 15, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. enuff

    *meant democratic

    November 15, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Peggy - TX

    By drastically slashing legislative salaries, Gov. Perry will make sure only the very wealthy actually can run for Congress thereby acheiving his goal of making Washington work for the ubber wealthy (i.e. top 1%).

    November 15, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Greg in Arkansas

    Sounds like heart surgery with a chain-saw....

    November 15, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. T. A. Martin

    Wasn't Perry one of those who was claiming Obama was attempting to create a Socialist Dictatorship by expanding executive power?

    Sounds like what Perry is proposing here, less the solcialism.

    November 15, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. zb

    Like I have been saying, a vote for the Republican/Tparty is a shortcut to the dark ages. Texas is in the bottom third of virtually every ranking from healthcare, pollution, and education. It ranks at the top of the list for the most deficits. Perry himself is such an inside dealer that he makes Washington almost look virtuous. Needless to say is his idea of an activist judge is anyone who doesn't believe the world was created in 7 days. It is laughable to think this guy or any of the Republican/Tparty candidates will do anything other then make the nation safe for more lies, lunacy, hate, hypocrisy and exploitation. God saves us from them all.

    November 15, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Brad

    Obama promised this also and failed.

    November 15, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Citizen

    "uproot, tear down and rebuild Washington" this is a statement from a career politician. Why does he not try this to Austin first?

    November 15, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yeah right! As if he'll remember that he pledged to....um,er,ah....whatever two days from now!

    November 15, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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