Perry: Romney and Gingrich backed the 'biggest act of theft in American history'
December 19th, 2011
04:52 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry: Romney and Gingrich backed the 'biggest act of theft in American history'

Manchester, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on Monday called the Wall Street bailout "the single biggest act of theft in American history" and blamed two his rivals, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, for supporting it.

During a bus tour swing through rural eastern Iowa, the Texas governor touted his small town values and blasted the Wall Street "den of thieves" for "gaming the system" and taking money out of the wallets of ordinary citizens.

"This Wall Street bailout was the single biggest act of theft in American history," Perry told about 60 voters at a Pizza Ranch restaurant in Manchester. "And Newt and Mitt, they both were for it. That's one of the reasons that I say that if you really want an individual who is an outsider, who has not been engaged in that process up, there, I hope you will take look at me."

Most of the $700 billion loaned to the big Wall Street banks through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, has been re-paid.

Perry is trailing both Gingrich and Romney in Iowa polls, but his numbers here are trending slightly upward as he makes a late retail-oriented campaign push and takes aim at his GOP opponents.

Growing up as the son of farmers in Paint Creek, Texas, Perry said he learned an early lesson: "Nobody was going to bail out a dry land cotton farm."

"We need to make the decision not to settle for a candidates who support bailouts and these wasteful earmarks," he said. "That needs to be what this election is really about."

Perry is also making stops in Dyersville and Dubuque on Monday.

He will be joined on the campaign trail Tuesday in Iowa by one of his top supporters, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Also see:

Bachmann pauses in Iowa tour to talk 'myth' of Kinsey Report

Paul claims Bachmann 'hates' Muslims

S.C. governor rallies crowd for Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Rick Perry • Wall Street
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Fellow Texan

    Gosh lets get a man that knows what it takes to create jobs in office. Obama is ruining our country and we need him to get it back to wgere it belongs

    December 19, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |

    Like Bachmann, Perry thinks he's relevant.

    December 19, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Former Republican, now an Independent

    And Perry's mentor and idol, George W. Bush orchestrated the entire deal. In reality all of the republicans supported it as they are typically Wall Street supporters. They only started speaking out about it after Obama took office, thinking they could spin the blame off of the GOP and onto the democrats. Hopefully, the American voter is getting smarter and listening to accurate news reporting and not the distortions aired on Fox Phoney News.

    December 19, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |

    Oh, by the way, Perry: it was your main man, George W. Bush, who signed TARP into law. . . can't wait to read how the GOP/Tea Party nuts spin that fact in 3...2..1...GO!

    December 19, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. bjb

    He should know about gaming the system. He pulls in a state retirement pension ($90,000+) while he is still "working" full time as governor.

    December 19, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. ja

    I read recently perry was drawing a pension and salary from the state of texas, most politicians as self serving sobs, that is the real problem in america, a few years in congress an the sobs are set for life, lobbying, free healthcare etc, and most are independently wealthy prior to office, they should be totally banned as lobbyist for life

    December 19, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. SecedingfromTexas

    Oh brother.....................Thanks Stumblin' Tumble Weed for reminding us of Bush's last gesture of 'good will' before leaving office, and for reminding us of who started this economic mess.
    As for "gaming the system", should know.

    December 19, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. GonzoinHouston

    I liked the tarp about as much as I would open-heart surgery, but I agreed with it for the same reason: the alternative was much, much worse. Perry is rather desperately trying to generate some enthusiasm among the most reality-challenged fringe elements of the GOP. Between now and New Hampshire he'll make some comment about Obama's "forged birth certificate".

    I'll miss Perry – he was really good for laughs.

    December 19, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. lgny

    So... Perry would let AIG, Citibank and several other major banks go belly up. He has no comprehension of the depth of finance lock-up this would have created. Until everyone could sort out their finances.

    He would have turned this recession into a major depression.

    December 19, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. BeverlyNC

    If Perry was against Bush's bailout of the banks and thinks the banks are thieves- then when will he call for the bank execs to be prosecuted for fraud and take away all their pay and bonuses to give to families defrauded and ruined by these greedy corrupt banks????

    December 19, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Dennis1020

    Sounds like Perry is getting ready to leave the Republican Primary Circus and join the Occupy movement.

    December 19, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. n

    Perry is the biggest thief we have God forbit he get elected he will sell America

    December 19, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. David

    As Governor of Texas Perry sent a letter urging that this stimulous to acted on quickly – he supported TARP as well.

    December 19, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. cevans, texas

    @ Fellow Texan

    You are dislusional!! Stop living with blinders on!! So sad, you can't even be true to yourself!! Rick Perry is no comparison to the POTUS!!

    December 19, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Hasn't CNN researched Perry and former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay ?

    Perry / Enron 2002

    Jobs ?

    December 19, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Jilli

    Oh Mr. Perry...are you sure it wasn't Kim Jong the seconds fault.

    What a buffoon.

    December 19, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. DJ in Texas

    Our governor – no words to describe him. While most people didn't agree with the "bailout", the country would have been a hell of lot worse without them. BTW – does he know that most of the money has been paid back by the banks???? If we had let B of A and Citi go down...... I don't even want to think about those consequences. A buddy of mine who declares himself so far to the right, you can't reach that far even agreed that there was no other choice but to do the bailouts. The consequences would have been just too great otherwise. And I'm sure he voted for the governor.................

    December 19, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. Bill

    You sure did not hear this from Ragtime Cowboy Joe when he was accepting millions from these bailout funds in Texas. A hypocrite and buffoon, at best.

    December 19, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. davec.0121

    If anyone would know about legalized scamming by gov't officials, it would be Gov. Goodhair. Not only is he knocking down a pension of more than $7500 a month while drawing a salary for ostensibly beiing governor, but he is notorious in Texas (from where I'm writing) for his 'pay-to-play' philosophy. Slick Rick taking the moral high ground is like watching a pig try to fly: amazing, possibly amusing, but in the end, ridiculous.

    December 19, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. gate

    Wow! Rick Perry supports Occupy Wall Street!

    December 19, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. Jeremy O'Connor

    Since the Fed won't allow an audit of it's book, who knows if the money was paid back? The author makes a pretty big assumption here. Let's not forget the trillions in stimulus money that went to overseas (foreign) banks either.

    December 19, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Disclaimer: Any pro right wingnut or pro Mittens comments are not posted by me, but is the work of those self made teavangelical millionaires. Is it because right wingnut tea baggers are not so much into the truth, and I have angered them?

    December 19, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Tony


    If the banks were allowed to fail, what would happen when China has a banking system, and we don't? Socialism, anyone?

    December 19, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. joe smith

    and while your slinging, try to find out who is selling our Nation down the drain, by, number one, proposing The National Authorization Act, and two, who voted for it..there must be a clean sweep in Washington, from the house to the senate to the white house, supreme court..take no for an answer..the people need to retake what the illuminati thinks they have successfully taken with the help of these uncharactered pensil pushers..

    December 19, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. Ron

    We've got Republicans calling each other liars and thieves. Which may well be true. Those accusations are going to play well in Democratic Party sound-bite ads. And they are all trying to out-conservative each other. Watch how fast the candidate moves to the center in the general election. It would be fun to watch if it weren't so disgusting.

    December 19, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |