Perry changes subject after manufacturing question
December 14th, 2011
08:57 PM ET
10 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.

Also see:

Romney video ties Gingrich to left

Reid labels Gingrich 'presumptive' nominee

Sen. Rubio for vice president?

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Rick Perry
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Clwyd

    The man is from Texas and there for an idiot! Like all the rest int heat state that put him in office!

    December 14, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  2. David in Denver

    This wasn't one of the 2 (not 3!) pre-programmed answers for the Governor, so he couldn't process the question and couldn't formulate an answer – Perry's done – it will be fun to watch – he'll pull out before the end of January.

    December 14, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. parker

    The questions asked by this particular business owner were too complex for Perry. He simply did not understand how to answer the question because he didn't understand it. And this guy wants to be President? We do not need another Bush.

    December 14, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. Thomas

    How soon we forget !

    One word , " ENRON ".

    Rick Perry / Kenneth Lay

    December 14, 2011 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  5. SA in OO

    Forget the specific incidents. What does it say that voters would have ever elect someone as clueless as Gov. Perry, . . . OR Jan Branch, OR Sarah Palin.

    It's scary that the ability to think through a simple question and provide a coherent answer isn't seen as a something a candidate for president needs to be able to do.

    December 14, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. Mike Ikeo

    Apparently Perry's campaign slogan is "Uhh....oops....."

    December 14, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. dennis

    Hats off again to CNN! Yep, all you Left Wing Liberals! Get your fingers on those keys, CNN has provided you yet another format to spew your Rick Perry, Republician Hating comments! Fire up those anti Christian hate notes, let the world know about your anti morality, anything goes, Bush Haters get after it! Yea! CNN the Democrat National Committee Propaganda mouth piece! Let'r zing you Liberal OccupierS. Fill it up with as much hate as possible for all good values, and ring out your minds us. We'll all be so much "Smarter", Let'r Rip dudes!

    December 14, 2011 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Please nominate this man so Obama can win.

    December 14, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    Oops - maybe he already NEEDS some of that alzheimer's medicine. Aricept works wonders - better than the drugs and booze he's already on (obviously).

    December 14, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  10. TeaPartyIsForLittleGirls

    Yes, this guy is a perfect representation of what GOP stands for – sell themselves to the highest bidder, be it Big Oil or Chinese Government.

    December 14, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  11. Rob J

    The "Party" tried to push this one down the throat of America so as not to let a Mormon win. Yes it was purely based on religious bigotry. Now we see the true politician he is. No way, no how, go home. America needs a break from Texas oil and money greasing up the election.

    December 14, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  12. rhumba

    Sounds like Perry just didn't understand the question. This seems to be a common problem for him. Could Perry be a few bulbs short of a chandelier?

    December 14, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  13. Pedron

    If you listen carefully without biases Perrys answer had truth in it

    December 14, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  14. Stoneoak

    Rick who?

    December 14, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  15. paul__1

    This reminds me of the story about the fourth grade student who waited untill the last possible moment to study for a science test. With little time left and knowing that the question on the test would be about either birds or worms, the student chose to study worms. When the teacher handed out the test, the student was horrified to see that the test was about birds. Collecting himself, he started writing "The early bird catches the worm..." and then proceeded to write all about worms. Perry must have been that student.

    December 14, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  16. Matt

    You know, I find more troubling than his gaffes are what he's actually serious about. Start at "zero" foreign aid. That shows a man with zero experience in foreign affairs. Honestly, it's pretty much saying "I'm not going to help any of you. Now respect me, and respect that the Untied States is number one!"

    December 14, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  17. T'sah from Virginia

    OMG – Sarah Palin in disguise!!! WTH? Doorknobs are brighter than this character!!! Jeez!!

    Obama 2012

    December 14, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  18. Solitaire

    Perry only wants to use humanitarian aid to get other countries to support "our interests" overseas. I'm sure the baby formula drinkers have a lot to say about their nation's policies once they understand that their sippy cups depend on friendly politics.

    December 14, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  19. Michael Baker

    And does anyone really expect otherwise from Governor Goodhair? I mean, really?

    December 14, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  20. Always Skeptical

    The fact that neither, Grassley, Obama or Perry could answer the question or find a solution is the real and most frightening problem...

    December 14, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  21. Peter

    Surprise, surprise, Perry doesn't know how to actually answer a legitimate question. Not unlike the last governor of Texas who was President of the US. Trend?

    Also, first.

    December 14, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. Nicolas

    Now that is a confusing headline, isn't it?

    December 14, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  23. Squigman

    Empty suit. Empty head.

    December 14, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Perry really doesn't understand what is going on. He won't make it to the nomination. If he does and wins the presidency, we're screwed!

    December 14, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  25. Rick McDaniel

    Candidates always dodge those kinds of specifics.

    December 14, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
1 2