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.

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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. LynneSki

    I'm sure Mr. Perry is a nice man, but the "Bain" way didn't work for him because well, he is a dork when it comes to running for President.

    May 25, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    My, my. Rick Perry. Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum. All shut down their campaigns, ran home licking their wounds, and still want media time equal to that which the presumtive nominee is getting. Probably should add Donald Trump to the mix – he always demands his share of the spotlight.

    Leading one to question just how "into" Mitt Romney GOPers really are. I'm thinking not too much.

    May 25, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. bilk7

    When people like Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and the FOXNews pundits all say "don't go there", as they have the last few days regarding Bain Capital, my advice to the Obama campaign is...Most definitely, Go there! What didn't work for Perry and Gingrich will work for a more informed, less gullible general election electorate. The reason it didn't work for Perry and Gingrich is, as soon as the Romney campaign said to mention Bain's practices was an attack on Capitalism, the gullible GOP primary voters fell for it. Informed voters though know that to discuss what went on in Romney's past at Bain is NOT an attack on capitalism but an example of how we ended up in the economic mess we've been in for the last 10 years. A knowledgeable voter will not allow someone like Romney to take us back down that path, now that the corner has been turned and we can see light at the end of the tunnel.

    May 25, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    It's all Obama has against Mitt Romney. The stronger Mitt Romney is as a candidate the more pathetic Obama's campaign will be. Expect an amazingly pathetic campaign from Obama/Biden 2012. Yes, it will get even more comical.

    May 25, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. ST

    Whom is Perry trying to kid around. He initiated it, how come he now thinks it is not going to work. What was his aim of initiating it that time? You had it in mind Perry and we are going to help you and show you that it works out this time! Stay tuned.

    May 25, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Bill

    Read you poltical history Mr. Texas Toast. These types of ads were quite effective when used against Romney n 1994 wheh he ran against Ted Kennedy for Massachusetts senate seat.

    May 25, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Sandyre

    IT IS WORKING! This is why you see all these people tied to Wall Street coming on all these talk shows saying to stop talking about, otherwise if it wasn't working they wouldn't even bother. On Morning Joe this morning Joe said it wasn't working, but then showed a poll where the President is beating Romney on the economy now by 3 points! Remember last week that was the only poll where Romney was beating President Obama. IT IS WORKING!

    May 25, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Squigman

    Is this the face of evil, or what?

    May 25, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Tony in Maine

    This is the latest talking point from the RNC. Newt sounded like a parrot last night on Hardball repeating the same story in answer to every question on any topic.

    Priebus and his mysoginistic sycophants (sounds like Spiro doesn't it?) make up a new myth every 24 hours and the Washington stenographic corps dutifully reports it as though Karl Rove were still in charge of WH credentials.

    May 25, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. BLKMANinAmerica

    OK soooooooooooooooooooo clearly the repuks do not want to discuss anything close to REALITY or THE TRUTH. How weak is that.

    May 25, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Wes B.

    I think it's safe to say that Rick Perry's poor results in the GOP primaries were due to one thing: Rick Perry.

    May 25, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. maf

    @ Four, you are dreaming! It has only just begun in ernest. The reason going after Bain in the GOP primary didn't work, is because the GOP wanted everyone to be on the same page. Now that the presumptive nominee is Romney, it is about his raping of companies for profit, sending jobs overseas and catering to the rich.
    Nice try though. Romney's vision of America might ring true for some, even a lot, but it's the WRONG view for America. The gap between rich and poor will only get bigger, those who unfortunately can't take care of themselves will fall through the cracks and minority rights will do the moonwalk backward into a much less forgiving time.
    I will continue to support the direction President Obama is taking as it's more inclusionary, progressive and long overdue!

    May 25, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Sanity

    Obama has two Bain folks on an advisory council now. He took contributions from Bain that he will not return. Just more BS from Obama.

    May 25, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Ray

    Perry? it wasn't Bain the cause your failure to be the nominee. It was YOU WOOP

    May 25, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Sanity

    "Though the Obama campaign has repeatedly attacked Mitt Romney for his career at Bain Capital, President Obama still accepted $7,500 in campaign contributions from two Bain executives. His campaign press secretary, Ben LaBolt told The Politicker the president has no intention of giving the money back."

    May 25, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. frag

    Didn't work against who???????????? Against Republicans? Obama isn't going after the same voters Rick! This guy is so dumb, he doesn't even know the difference between a primary election and a general election. Independent voters know who's a vulture capitalist and who's an honest one. You lose Ricky.

    May 25, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. curious

    Rmoney should shut up using Bain Capital and his wife as campaign tools, if he can't handle the truth.

    May 25, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    A delusional right wingnut said Bain is all Obama has against Mittens. Actually, Mittens pointed Bain out as his strength, only to find that was another Mittens mistake. We also have Mittens lack of foreign policy knowledge, the Ryan Romney destruction of social security and medicare, the big tax cuts for the wealthy, Romney care, 47th in job creation in MA, end of regulations on Wall Street and big banks, the war on women, lack of an immigration policy, etc.

    May 25, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Blindersoff

    Yes . . . please go there and while you are there, talk about Romney tenure as governor and then go to his off shore accounts. To name a few.

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

    Mittens also wanted Detroit to go bankrupt while he approved the Bush TARP bailout, he also in a corporate raider, a tax evader, a money launderer, job destroyer, etc. More later.

    May 25, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Joe

    That's strange advice coming from Perry. Wow! who knew that Newt and Perry were well lubricated weathervanes, too? Lots of luck, alexithymic MItt-kiss 2012 goodbye.

    May 25, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Don't blame it on the message about Bain, it was the Rick Perry the Messenger Republicans didn't want. Bye, bye now.

    May 25, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    This time Romney is not playing the home ground, so Bian will work

    May 25, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Wow... So Ricky should be giving advice on how to beat Romney?!? Did you ever think that perhaps being a greedy SOB and costing people jobs by outsourcing them might play better for some people or party than others?

    May 25, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    ... Romney's vision of America might ring true for some, even a lot, but it's the WRONG view for America. The gap between rich and poor will only get bigger...
    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.

    May 25, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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