DeWitt, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry has been calling himself a Washington outsider for weeks now, and he vowed Tuesday to hammer that message as his closing argument before Iowans head to the Republican caucuses on January 3.
The strategy, he said, offers a clear contrast between himself and two of the frontrunners in the Iowa race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"Newt has been on the inside," the Texas governor told reporters in DeWitt, Iowa. "He is practically the grandfather of earmarks."
Perry painted Romney as beholden to Wall Street and said he "has a real problem" explaining his past support for health insurance mandates.
"So the issue is going to be, do you want an insider, whether it's Wall Street or whether it's Washington, or do you want an outsider like myself," he said.
Perry made the comments after touring the eastern Iowa town with one of his leading campaign surrogates, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The neighboring governors glad-handed their way in and out of shops and restaurants in the town's cozy commercial district, trailed by a mob of reporters and television cameras.
Perry and a super PAC supporting his campaign have been running television ads and distributing mailers attacking both Gingrich and Romney, and the governor himself has been criticizing the two at stop after stop during a statewide bus tour.
He said he did not believe that the tenor of the race has become too negative, something Gingrich has suggested throughout the last week after he became the chief target of his GOP foes.
"I have run a lot of races before, and so long as no one is misstating the facts, then I don't consider that to be negative," he said.
He also said his goal is to win the caucuses and not just land in the top three - a finish that most Republicans agree is needed for Perry to advance in the presidential race.
"My expectation and my intent is to be number one," he said.
Near the end of his session with reporters, Perry was pressed for his thoughts on President Barack Obama by Kalle Eko, a Northwestern University and Chicago native.
When Perry called Obama an "abject failure" on the foreign policy front, Eko responded that the president deserves praise for the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Perry flatly disagreed.
"I would suggest to you that it was Navy SEALs and our intelligence community that was the reason bin Laden was taken out, not the President of the United States," he said.
Asked again by CNN if he believed that the president should be given some share of the credit for bin Laden's death, Perry answered: "I'm almost positive it was Navy SEALs."
Bachmann: I'm not a politician, don't even know how to be one
Romney, on Letterman show, jokes about hair, Newt Gingrich
Perry: Romney and Gingrich backed the 'biggest act of theft in American history'
"outsider" is a good description of Perry. He is outside the realm of human comprehension. His ideas are ridiculous, his ability to lead preposterous and he is a walking joke. It says volumes about Texans that have made him the longest governing Governor.
you know what the differnce between aggie boots and cowboy boots??,,,,with the aggie boots the crap is on the inside
Washington outsider ?
Look into the Perry Enron connection !
Outsider Not !
Perry is not under any scope of the imagination an "outsider". He gets by in Texas because he wears cowboy boots and spouts off about his faith, but does little else but line his pockets and "create" lots of low paying 'service" jobs. He has a low IQ and panders to whoever may support him rather than put forth big ideas. He's a joke as governor and would be a disaster as POTUS.
Right, just what we need. Another know-nothing from Texas who wears his lack of knowledge on his sleeve.
It also shouldn't be a surprise to anybody that Peter Hamby is parroting this drivel, again.
Is Perry still trying to convince intelligent Americans to elect an unintelligent candidate (himself) as president?
Perry, put back on your cowboy boots and head east till you smell it, then south till you step in it–and you will know you are back where you belong–with the dumb Texans who elected you governor all these years.
I would like to apologize for supporting Romney, I have seen the light, and promise to support Perry. Forget all my previous posts.
Perry is like FOG – It comes and goes but in the end, it disappears!!! Even if he is able to pull off the nomination, he will LOSE – terribly – in the General. What a "waste" of campaign money!!!
I'm almost positive that Gov. Perry will not win the Republican nomination. Even if he did win, he would get blistered in the presidential debates.
Better to be from Washington than Texas. Our country has suffered enough with "other Texans".
Outsider all right. Outside reality!
Parry's been in public office for years and, employment in Texas's public sector jumped 19% since 2000, compared with a 9% rise in the private sector.
He's toast anyway simply by virtue of the fact that he's dumber than a door nail.
Perry/Palin...Two "Ps" from the same pod, the very bottom pod.
If its republican....It stinks!
Perry go home u are the worst governor and u will never get the nomination.
What a self absorbed clown.
Perry has never had a private sector job he has always been a politician!
He went directly from A & M, where the steers are always "watching their back", to "living off the backs" of the voters.
It would appear his intent was the same in both cases.
Not is he a Washington outsider but also a politico outsider. He really has no concept of the term governing. Even the very few ideas he has are terrible. He also has no concept that what may work in a single state can not work for the entire country. Every time I see him and hear him try to complete a sentence I break out in laughter. Maybe the fine people of Iowa will hand him such a huge loss that he'll finally go home for good.
it Does not matter who wins the GOP presidental nomination. The tea party led GOP do nothing house has destoyed any chance any GOP canidate had.
While the MSM continues its erroneous and pathological socialistic destruction of truth, the American people are praying and seeking a man of values to serve. At present only one-third of voters have decided on their GOP candidate. When records of policy and values are examined, I believe that the American people will judge and choose rightly. I believe they will choose Governor Rick Perry. We have had three years of deception by a silver-tongued orator, it is now high time for a real, faithful, man of substance and leadership to lead this country, Rick Perry.
Perry can't debate and doesn't understand what someone needs to be in order to be president. Technically, he can be president, but there is more than just the constitution requirements that you be a natural born American 35 years old or older. The president now needs to know many things and to be able to make fully informed decisions.
This fool is over. Now those of us in Texas need to learn to stop voting for the candidate who has sold his soul to the wealthiest oilmen and industrialists. Perry is a less honest, even dumber version of "W".
I'd say Rick Perry is definitely an outsider: outside of reality, outside the mainstream, outside intelligent discourse or common sense. I don't think you can get much further outside than Rick Perry.
Perry wouldn't even pass the US Citizenship Test.
Perry has the IQ of a fifth grader. That's why he's a governor in Texas, GW Bush's stomping grounds. Texas breeds dummmies.
Perry is certianly one of the more likeable Republican stooges. Herman Cain was hilarious and "crazy peepers" Bachman is funny too. They're a bunch of clowns that make you laugh every time they talk.