Ex-AIG Chief Hosts NYC Fundraiser for Rick Perry

Sep 21, 2011 11:26am

Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrapped up a fundraising tour through New York City Tuesday with an event hosted by former chief executive of AIG Hank Greenberg.

Greenberg led the insurance giant for 27 years until 2005 when he gave up his leadership post amid a fraud investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, but he held the largest share stake in the company when it collapsed in 2008, sparking the financial bailout Republicans now decry.

Perry has long lambasted the bailout program, even citing the AIG bailout in his book as one with which the American people are “fed up.”  Perry argued that bailout and stimulus programs “turn American upside down, totally undermining the idea of limited government, free markets, and federalism.”

In his book, Perry slammed AIG for its practices.

“”The federal government directed hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out insurance giant AIG even as the company threw lavish corporate retreats,” Perry wrote in “Fed Up!”

In an interview with Good Morning America in 2008, Greenberg lamented the collapse of the insurance giant.

“I’ve lost my entire net worth, literally my entire net worth,” Greenberg said. “I worked 40 years building the greatest insurance company in history, one that everyone in the world envied – who was in this industry.”

Just one of five fundraisers for Perry’s “Big Apple Kickoff,” the Greenberg fundraiser held at the Lotus Club required a minimum contribution of $2,500.

ABC News asked Perry’s campaign for comment on the link between Greenberg and the bailout, but the campaign has not responded.

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