May 25th, 2012
03:47 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry: Don't go the Bain way

(CNN) - "It didn't work then. It's not going to work now."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke from experience Friday when he argued the recent Democratic attacks against Mitt Romney's private equity career will fail to carry much weight in the long run.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

A former presidential candidate, Perry was one of the first this election cycle to use Romney's former firm, Bain Capital, to knock the former Massachusetts governor. Perry made headlines when he accused Romney of "vulture capitalism" and repeatedly targeted him as a greedy corporate raider.

Newt Gingrich also jumped on the Bain train during the primary, though he soon backed down, following a backlash of Republican scorn over attacking the business world.

Now, Democrats, including the president, are using Romney's private sector experience to cast the presumptive GOP presidential nominee as unqualified for the Oval Office, arguing the job of the president is to look out for all Americans, not simply maximize profits.

Weighing in on the strategy, Perry said Friday the president's re-election campaign won't have much luck with their latest approach.

"I don't think Barack Obama wants to go there," Perry said in an interview to air on CNN's "John King, USA."

Pressed on whether Perry firmly stood behind his Bain offense earlier this year - or if it was simply a political strategy - the governor said he was merely trying to "score points."

"The point was we were looking for ways to score points, and it didn't work," Perry told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Without naming names, he pointed to several Democrats who have raised concerns in recent days over Team Obama's approach, which includes aggressive attack ads featuring laid off workers from companies that went bankrupt after being purchased by Bain.

In Friday's interview, Perry also addressed the upcoming Texas Senate primary battle, fighting back against criticism that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the leading candidate in the race, may not win the conservative vote in Tuesday's primary.

Dewhurst faces a crowded field of GOP challengers, with tea party favorite Ted Cruz at the top of the pack. While Dewhurst has been polling ahead of Cruz, political observers question whether he can survive the 50% threshold needed to avoid a run-off contest this summer.

National conservative groups and leaders, such as Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum, may support Cruz, but Perry argued the Texas conservative base stands with Dewhurst.

"There's, you know, people who come from out of state and make their endorsements known," Perry said. "But Texas conservatives are lining up behind David Dewhurst."

- Watch the full interview at 6 p.m. ET on CNN's "John King, USA."

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Rick Perry • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    @four and the door. Where have you been. Did the door hit you in the face. Your still spouting the same garbage. Wake up.

    May 25, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I live in Texas and my advice to the Obama campaign is to IGNORE the likes of Rick Perry and keep doing what you are doing.

    May 25, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Sorry Gov. but you are wrong. We the voters are well aware of our multimillionaire candidates background as he lies away in any direction he can. will and is making a difference out here among the peasants. We know who wants to cut everything we have and have worked hard to keep. We are not going down without a big lot of noise and lot of Obama votes!!!!

    May 25, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    So after 3 1/2 years of Obama's policies, how is Main Street doing? I will give you a hint. Wall Street is where all the happy people are. Bankers are Livin' La Vida Loca. Plumbers, electricians and carpenters are Livin' paycheck to paycheck. Look at what he does, not what his speechwriters tell him to say. There is plenty of proof all around you.

    Take the blinders off, would you? Starting with America's not so distant history ... preferably 2003-2007.

    (For a guy who is supporting Mitt, you might want to readress your Wall Street is happy argument, too.)

    May 25, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Thanks Rick. I am sure the Obama campaign can learn a lot from your campaign.

    May 25, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Four – for a minute I almost thought you cared about the middle class, but then I woke up.

    May 25, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    (For a guy who is supporting Mitt, you might want to readress your Wall Street is happy argument, too.)
    My argument is not that Wall Street is happy. I'm okay that they are happy. My argument is that Main Street is still living paycheck-to-paycheck. Talk doesn't help these 300 million struggling people. A healthy and growing economy will. Mitt Romney will. Obama just gives more of the same. We can do better. We need better.

    May 25, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    I can't keep but laughing at those on the right attacking President Obama for going after Romney's record with Bain when they seem to ignore that it was the Republicans that really started the attack. You know, like Rick Perry did!! So I guess Rick was WRONG to call Mitt a "vulture capitalist" now and Newt should have never released "When Mitt Romney came to town". In fact the Obama folks need not even make new commercials, just GOOGLE what the GOP 2012ers said about Bain and use that. I do agree though that they should not overplay their hands with this because the American public as you can tell by the polls is very fickle at best. The GOP mantra of "tell a lie so often people will believe it's true" will not work in this case. In a few weeks the O-team will need some new material.

    May 25, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real


    President Obama's campaign team should continue to pile on on the BAIN attack and bring out Etch-a-Sketch Mitt "UnAmerican" SWISS BANK Accounts and the CAYMEN ISLANDS!!!

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt doesn't want to talk about his tenure as gov of MA....because he knows he sucks with his 47th JOB CREATION RECORD!!!!

    May 25, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Dave

    Perhaps the reason that the Bain attack didn't work is because Rick Perry is a certifiable idiot.

    May 25, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Myviewis

    Hey, did you hear Obama's campaign is running on some Bain Capital/Romney money? Thank goodness Romney created all those jobs so that those people could have money to donate to the Obama campaign.

    May 25, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. kayla

    look who is giving advice, lol

    May 25, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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