Perry changes subject after manufacturing question
December 14th, 2011
08:57 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry changes subject after manufacturing question

Harlan, Iowa (CNN) - During a tour Wednesday afternoon of Molded Products - a medical-equipment manufacturing facility in Harlan, Iowa - Rick Perry was asked by the company's owner, David Tyrrel, if he favored a proposal that would offer incentives to health care providers who accept money from the U.S. government to purchase equipment from U.S. manufacturers.

Tyrrel told Perry that he had raised the issue with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and President Barack Obama when they visited his facility, but neither had done anything about it.

"I would consider it to be a good idea, and here's the reason why: foreign aid," Perry said, quickly changing the topic. "I'm for starting foreign aid at zero, and then you have a conversation about, 'Do you approve of our interests?' Now obviously when we start dealing with a global economy, we might have an ally somewhere that makes the same product as you do. That particular point in time is where you kind of get into the head-scratching side of it."

Tyrrel tried to explain that his company's biggest problem was foreign-owned companies in the United States who take federal dollars but then go on to import products from their home country rather than purchasing products made in America, despite competitive pricing and quality. So he tried to ask his question again to see if Perry could suggest any ways that government could encourage such companies to help domestic businesses instead. Perry again answered a different question.

"It's not unlike when we talk about why would we give our federal dollars to a country that's displaying regularly that they don't have America's interest in mind," Perry said.

At this point the governor was told by aides he had to leave. And even though Perry didn't really answer his question, Tyrrel graciously thanked him for coming, and then stood patiently by the door collecting safety goggles as the governor and his media entourage filed out.

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Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Perry
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Give the guy a break, he has a hard time understanding issues that don't effect the wealthy.

    December 14, 2011 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  2. Hollowright

    The GOPs finest...right there folks. It's like Bush all over again.

    December 14, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    This kind of action is another symptom of alzheimers, you have to talk over and over again about what on your mind. never mind the question.

    December 15, 2011 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  4. papafritz57

    I am amazed that Perry can even find his way home without an escort. What a lightweight he has shown himself to be. The good citizen of Texas deserve better than him.

    December 15, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  5. petena

    Texas is waiting for you Perry. Go home. You are making a mockery out of the presidential race. I think you are on drugs. Even I can do better at answer questions. What a baffoon.

    December 15, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |

    Perry is a parody of himself. Thanks for the laugh, Rick!

    December 15, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  7. it is sad

    In Ricks defense... he has acknowledged he is not good at debates. He clearly saw this as a debate question and chose to answer it the way he wanted. Once inside his vehicle he was heard to mumble that he thought it was a gotcha question about government sponsored health care. They plan on announcing that at the rest of their town hall meetings people will only be allowed to have their picture taken with him as long as they smile and don't ask any questions.

    December 15, 2011 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  8. Noodle Nose Johnson

    It was too hard a question for Perry to answer so he just read whatever was written on his hand. He's a dimwit.

    December 15, 2011 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  9. frag

    Pre-programming error?

    December 15, 2011 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  10. Alex in Wisconsin

    Hey, Perry's move is staight out of the Sarah Palin playbook. I can't wait for Rick Perry's Texas to air on TLC.

    December 15, 2011 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  11. Sergio D. Monterroso

    Why doesn't he just stay in Texas, there most people do not care whether you are smart or not, all they care is whether you are willing to kill someone in the name of the law or not. Perry fits in TX, to be president; you have to at least act smart. Perry is too stupid to even make it look like he knows what he is talking about. Please just stay home.

    December 15, 2011 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  12. Sergio D. Monterroso

    Perry is a disgrace to the Republican Party, he brings shame to the country and he definitely makes Christians look bad.

    December 15, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  13. Marie MD

    Why is this clown still in the run? Do these people listen to themselves, never mind the polls.

    December 15, 2011 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  14. sick of republican phonies

    Robo-Perry: "This query does not compute. I was not programmed to answer this. Must fill void with nonsensical blather and hope no one notices."

    December 15, 2011 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  15. HenryB

    As much as I think Gov. Perry is an oaf, these types of questions really not appropriate. The only thing we learn from the inability of Perry to answer the question is that he is not too nimble on his two feet. And that we already know.

    December 15, 2011 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
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