Perry pledges to 'uproot, tear down and rebuild' Washington
November 15th, 2011
12:16 PM ET
11 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. Joe Fatala

    Rick Perry, an ambitous young man
    Said “Hey I’ve got a great plan.
    We’ll cut this and cut that
    Get rid of the fat
    But for now I’ll work on my tan”

    November 15, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Lenny Pincus

    Yes, let's pursue the most radical right wing policies ever and let an intellectual fudge nugget from Texas run the operation. How stupid is America?

    November 15, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Russ

    Is this guy for real? And Rick, I'm sure you will also propose to take in any unwanted children as a result of your personal appointments to the Supreme Court that overturn Roe v Wade. Wait a minute...haha...I forgot you aren't going to get elected. Nevermind.

    November 15, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Dave

    Whatever. Rick Perry – like most Repubicans – couldn't tie his own shoes without assistance. He's just another moronic hick and he won't get within a mile of the nomination.

    November 15, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Dr. Strangelove

    Government of the people, by the people, and for the people is the enemy. Multinational corporations are your friend. It's true.

    November 15, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If Perry knows anything, it is how to tear down and destroy. Go back to "N . . . Ranch," you crazy teabagger.

    November 15, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Dr. Strangelove

    Jesus loves rich people. The rest of you are lazy bums. Also true.

    November 15, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. coy4one

    Perry's plan: One by one, get rid of all the various government departments. Then eventually there will not be a need for Congress, just leaving the President and Vice President.....oh, wait...without Congress, there's no need for a Vice President, so out with that too! Now there's just the President, or should I say....dictator!

    November 15, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Brad

    He wants to tear down Washington because he can't remember what government agencies exist in there... a bit a of a knee jerk reaction.

    November 15, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. JH

    How does he reconcile his desire to uproot activist judges who rewrite legislation while at the same time also wanting to appoint judges who will overturn Roe vs Wade. Is it more appropriate for him to say he desires to "uproot activist judges who rewrite legislation he likes"

    November 15, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. R

    "Uproot, Tear Down, and Rebuild"

    Sounds like the Republican equivalent to "Hope and change" if you ask me. It's a catch-phrase, meant to get people whipped up in the idea that (insert politician's name here) will make our governement better and work for the people. If anything, the last 30 years has only shown that all politicians will say whatever they need to say to get elected. Maybe someday this vicious circle will end, but it won't be today, and probably won't end after this election.

    November 15, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Dana

    One can only hope that if he were successful in dismantling Washington that he will remember where he put the pieces.....

    November 15, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. MTATL67

    You can always tell when a candidate is about to drop out of the race.....they start that crazy talk. There ere should be term limits for Congressmen and limited pensions. Talk about leeches.

    November 15, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. teena

    And by "government fthat puts the American people first" does he mean corporations or actual human beings when he defines the word people?

    November 15, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. domokun

    In Houston yesterday, the headline was that Texas reaches an all time high in terms of people on food stamps: 3.6 million. Mebbe Perry should work on fixing his own house before he starts talking about screwing with Washington. I guess he's just showing that he's human though....Awww....I guess I stepped in it, shucks.

    November 15, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. mfx3

    Sounds treasonous! Like every other teabagger I've heard speak (or attempt to)...

    November 15, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. WDinDallas

    Put the Fed back to where it belongs....for the States!

    November 15, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. mike

    Love the sentiment, to bad it's rhetoric and not something that he'd actually do. 'Oops, i'm behind in the poles and have to say SOMETHING to get everyone to pay attention to ME.' Golly gee Batman!

    November 15, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. ptown

    he should be on the next thing smokin back texas...

    November 15, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. Conrad Shull

    "uproot, tear down and rebuild" Not sure what story this is from, OWS or Rick Perry. I'm pretty conservative, but this guy has no business leaving Texas (no offense, Texas). Even if he got elected, he's not smart enough to understand he's not David against Goliath, he's David against an army of Goliaths. He'd be chewed to bits and deposited as "waste" in a week.

    November 15, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. Danimal

    "I will uproot, tear down and rebuild the three branches of government as president! The legislative branch, the executive branch, and.... uhhh.... ummm.... oops."

    November 15, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Mack

    He needs to secede from the presidential race. He reminds me of Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies.

    November 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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