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.
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the newt, pizza man and the cowboy.....the three village idiots missing......and the others, NO COMMENT
This idiot is finished. He is just too stupid to realize it...
That's a joke when he can't even stand up with his republican colleagues/candidates and go toe to toe without being a complete DUFUS! This guy should quietly go back to Texas and be satisfied with his governor record of executing many.
When he's done he wants to put a rock out front with some writing on it.
He absolutely correct. The federal government has grown to be a malignent cancer on this country. Left to grow and fester and it will kill the country under pile of debt.
Allow me to throw out the pre-emptive "Progressives are afraid of Ricky. He would destroy Obama in a debate."
Rick Parry: what he lacks in good ideas he makes up for with stunningly poor debate skills.
Here's how Rick can start to make gubmint inconsequential in our lives - get lost after signing in a law that forbids TX governors from running for POTUS for at least 60 years
I think Mr Perry is joking. Washington can only be uprooted, teared down and rebuild by only and only voters.... You will have to deal with what voters give you in Washington. Stop deceiving yourself and the voters. This would have been done years ago.......
His candidacy is DOA.
He's resorting to empty promises and contradictory points of view (big government = bad unless it supports your point of view).
I plead with the GOP to stop these idiotic candidates and get someone with some experience and new ideas. Otherwise, I'll never return to the party I joined as a teenager and left as an adult 4 years ago after being a 2 time Reagan Republican.
oh he remembered the three departments he would close down this time? He wasn't even as smart as Palin in trying to write them down on the palm of his hand and we all know she is a joke.
Perry does not seem to know the meaning of most of the words he uses.
We cant have gwb part 2
Rick its time to get on your horse and quietly ride into the sunset cowboy, youre thru
"Ooooops. Perry wants to do away with important branches of government. He is definitely not presidential."
No, genius. He wants to do away with not-so-important government agencies. YOU are the "ooooops" dutchie...
There was another Texas governor who came to Washington to "Uproot & Tear-down" the country. His name is George W. Bush. He increase the national debt by NOT paying the two wars and the Medicare Part-D. He also gave the wealthy 1% all the money and killed off the middel class. Are these accomplishments enough already by the Texas cowboy? Go back to to your ranch and get re-educated, Perry!
shut up texas cowboy you need to just be planted right back to your sorry state of texas
"Uproot, Tear Down, and Rebuild" = Radical Right Wing Social Engineering
Look, people. The Republicans declared war on the middle class 30 years ago, and set us on a path towards plutocracy. All Republicans have made this promise is you actually listen to what they actually say in their speeches. This is what Rick Perry is promising to do.
Remember and never forget "The Great Sucker Punch" that Republicans pulled on America in 2010.
Rick Perry , that sounds like the news I have been able to fune in days . Rick Perry, hope you can before Washington sees one of the worst Protest in the History of this country !
a part time congress? isnt that what they already are?
Rick Perry , that sounds like the news I have been able to fine in days . Rick Perry, hope you can before Washington sees one of the worst Protest in the History of this country !
Rick Perry, Rick Perry, your brain
Is certainly not working again.
You stutter and stammer
Were you hit with a hammer?
Their laughs people cannot contain
Their laughs people cannot contain
If the word "hemp" is in your name, CNN won't post your comment. For the record, hemp is a native, beneficial plant. And Perry is a lunatic.
[Perry said he would "uproot, tear down and rebuild" the three branches of government as president.]
And that's what worries me.
Before he tears down Washington DC, Rick Perry ought to fix up Texas.
The oil industry is creating jobs so Rick can claim credit, but there are a lot of serious problems in the Lone Star State that their governor either does not recognize, or choses to ignore because he doesn't give a damn. Perry needs to address the health issues caused by the state's failure to enforce common sense pollution laws. How about the underfunded school system? The low graduation rate? What about Texas having the highest percentage of uninsured residents of any state in the union? Since Perry declared climate change and global warming to be non-existant, has he figured out why Texas had all those fires earlier this year?
Perry has made Texas such a mess that it is not surprising he wants to get out of there.
Rick P. flubbed his line on TV,
Thought “How can this possibly be?
I’m not Bachmann or Cain,
So why all this pain?”
Then his brain gave up working, you see.
Sounds like he's running for King, not President.