Perry donor defects to Romney, citing Bain attacks
January 12th, 2012
11:37 AM ET
2 years ago

Perry donor defects to Romney, citing Bain attacks

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – One of Rick Perry's leading financial supporters in South Carolina is defecting to Mitt Romney – and he told CNN Thursday that Perry's sharp criticisms of Romney as a "vulture capitalist" were the main factor in his decision.

Both Perry and Newt Gingrich recently began hammering Romney as a predatory capitalist who looted companies and fired workers when he was running the private equity firm Bain Capital in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Barry Wynn, the former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party and a financial adviser in Spartanburg, said the escalating rhetoric about Romney's business background is "destructive."

"It's just a dance I didn't want to be a part of," Wynn said in an interview, explaining his decision to leave Perry's campaign.

Wynn, along with a handful of other previously neutral South Carolina moneymen, will publicly endorse Romney on Thursday.

"This latest attack, it's so foreign to me, I couldn't see myself being a part of that," he explained. "I don't think you can be on both sides of free market capitalism. A big part of me being a Republican for the last 40 years is that I think it's the best hope to protect free market capitalism, the growth engine of our economy."

Wynn was part of a group of Republican bundlers who traveled to Texas last August to meet with Perry before he launched his presidential bid.

But he said the Texas governor's latest message is contrary to "everything that Republicans have been struggling for."

"It's hard enough to make that case for capitalism, and to have people in our own party attacking the case, it's not good for the party or good for the country," he said. "It kind of falls into this politics of envy that the Obama campaign is going to be all about between now and November."

Romney met with Wynn on Thursday morning after his event in Greer.

Wynn said he has always admired the former Massachusetts governor's business background.

Also see:

Santorum warns voters of scary rhetoric

Rivals grudgingly defend Romney from Bain criticism

Haley warns Republicans against Romney attacks

Gingrich: South Carolina will be 'Armageddon' of attacks


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry • South Carolina
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Hey CNN... lots of blather about GOP infighting, but nothing on first time unemployment filings back at the 400,000 level? What's up with that?

    January 12, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. v_mag

    "Wynn was part of a group of Republican bundlers..." I like that "vulture capitalist" pun. There's another one that goes, "Republican bunglers".

    January 12, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    of all the stupid things that Rick Perry has said and done on his campaign, when he FINALLY says something honest and true he gets dumped. That's Republican politics for ya!

    January 12, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    We don’t care media propaganda against Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. We will give trump card to Ron Paul then he can change the game in Tampa

    January 12, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. Woman In California

    It's hard enough to make that case for capitalism, and to have people in our own party attacking the case, it's not good for the party or good for the country," he said. "It kind of falls into this politics of envy that the Obama campaign is going to be all about between now and November."

    All of a sudden he has found a conscience? Where has this "conscience" been for the last three years when his party was/is attacking our president viciously (does socialism come to mind)? Gov. Perry did what he had to do and that was to INTRODUCE Willard to the public and the public is not liking what they see or hear from this guy. IF Willard does eventually become the nominee all of this will be bought up again – so THEY might as well learn right now Willard is not above criticism with the ENVIOUS American people.

    Go Governor Perry.

    January 12, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Duke One

    The Tea Party Leaders stabbed the people in the back by defecting to the GOP big government establishment !! We will not turn out and vote for Romney even if you have Rubio on the ticket !! We had a chance to turn this country around and now it's going to hell !

    January 12, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. gg

    capitalism=selling goods made in communist china-exporting oil to communist china-thats about it since 1980

    January 12, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Indy

    There is nothing wrong with Willard being a vulture capitalist, just dont expect to become President after you have had such a career, and don't try to spin the resume from being a banker to a job creator.If Romney wants to talk about his job creation skills let him talk about his time as Governor and how many jobs he created.

    January 12, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is how the venture capitalism is done that makes it reasonable or not. That is what many people have a problem with now.

    January 12, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. shoegazer

    South Carolina should put an end,once and for all,to the futile campaign of "all hat no cattle" Perry.Kind of sad though,it's like Dean Martin losing Jerry Lewis,or Abott losing Costello.Where does the GOP find their bumbling,buffoon to take his place? Oh wait,the line starts on the right.

    January 12, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Patrick Christofer Riley

    Romney's central argument makes him the weakest Republican candidate: if his private sector experience is so valid, why is it that as Governor of Mass, the state ranked 47 out of 50 for job creation-he was Governore AFTER his Bain years....hmmmm

    January 12, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    So the liberals want guarantted everything in this country... Guaranteed healthcare, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed houses, and now feel even companies must be guaranteed to succeed. The government tried this with Solyndra AND FAILED MISERABLY costly the taxpayers half a BILLION dollars. At least Romney was using and risking private money! And oh yeah, what about all the jobs that were SAVED in the companies that they brought back to life? Of course, those don't count.

    January 12, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It seems that Republicans have a natural aversion to being around people who tell the truth. It also seems that Perry picked the wrong time to try and tell the truth for a change.
    And look at who benefits: Mittens, who keeps his hands clean by letting others do his dirty campaigning, and bullying for him.
    Ain't life grand?

    January 12, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm sitting here trying to pinpoint the exact moment that Mittens the Flip-Flopper went from experiencing another Not-A-Chance-In-Hell run for the White House, to being the actual "frontrunner", because I'm pretty certain that that was the moment the Koch borthers and the rest of the Big Business GOP masters sent out "The Memo".
    The GoTeatards have been dutifully falling in line ever since.
    Good little Party soldiers aren't they?
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    January 12, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    But he said the Texas governor's latest message is contrary to "everything that Republicans have been struggling for."
    ---------------
    Do you hear what I hear?
    Isn't Mr. Wynn really saying that Republicans are struggling to be the epitomy of what Gov. Perry describes?

    January 12, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Malory Archer

    Perhaps Governor Perry's words were too close to the truth for Mr. Wynn?

    January 12, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mr. Wynn is affirming what Mittens is denying.

    January 12, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    Doubt this has anything to do with Perry. Anyway you look at it, Perry's heading back to Texas. I tip my hat at him for being honest on his way out. The only question now is how long it'll take Karl Rove to get Newt out of the way. Sounds as if Golden Boy Mitt is getting frustrated at not being able to collect the admiration he feels he deserves.

    January 12, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Sandy

    Yeah, dump Perry for telling the truth! These Republicans are insane!

    January 12, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. kay turner

    LOL! "...the growth engine for the economy."
    Anyone that looks at a chart of the disparity in wages and wealth in this country, will see that all the "growth" has been confined to the top 2%.

    January 12, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    How arrogant do you have to be to summarily dismiss valid complaints of inequity as "envy" with such scorn and ridicule?

    January 12, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The GoTeatards have been dutifully falling in line ever since.
    Good little Party soldiers aren't they?"

    LOL. So much for the "voting on principles" mantra we spent the past two years listening to, huh? Same applies to the Teavangelicals as well.

    January 12, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. Robert

    Guess 'vulture capitalists' stick together! Maybe you shouldn't be insulting your wallet Gov. Perry!!

    January 12, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    GOP boss Rush Limbaugh came out and attacked Perry on this so of course the rest of the righties had to fall into line. Rick just needs to come back to Texas and work on our increasing unemployment numbers that have gone up beyond 8% since he is so good at creating jobs.

    January 12, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. kenny

    Republicans eating their own. Ain't it wonderful?

    January 12, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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