Perry Chides Obama, Talks Supercommittee and SEC Investigation of Stock Trade

Nov 17, 2011 6:32pm

JACKSON, Miss. – Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that as president, he would not honor the budget cuts that would go into effect should the Super Committee fail to reach its deficit reduction goal, and he reprimanded President Obama for his trip abroad as the Super Committee attempts to reach an agreement before its Nov. 23 deadline.

“Not at all,” Perry said when asked if he would uphold the cuts. “As a matter of fact, the Super Committee is a great example of just the lack of leadership that we have in Washington. The president, AWOL as far as I’m concerned. As a matter of fact instead of being in Hawaii, or Asia, or whether he thinks he is on this particular trip, he ought to be here, working on this budget issue. We know what the problem is, we got a spending problem in Washington, D,C., and we’ve got to be sitting down and working out the details of this, and I think abrogating the responsibility of the presidency to a Super Committee of Congress was bad leadership to begin with.”

Perry, who is on a fundraising swing through Mississippi, held the media availability session to address his request to debate Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., next Monday, a proposition she declined Thursday morning.

“When you have routine insider corruption on Capitol Hill, when you have liberal opposition to freeing the economy in this country, when you have total disrespect for family values, that’s the reason Nancy Pelosi is running away from having a debate with me,” Perry said.

Since she would not agree to debate the Texas governor, Perry called on Pelosi to turn over any information pertaining to her involvement in potential insider trading to the SEC.

“I get it about why Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to debate me in public, because then she’s going to have to explain why she profited from this insider trading information in the stock market,” Perry said. “But if she won’t explain her activities in a public setting, such as a debate, then I challenge her to turn over all that information to the Securities [and] Exchange Commission or an independent prosecutor to determine whether she used insider information through her position in Congress to make money off of her investments. The public deserves the answers to those questions.”

In 1998, the SEC opened an investigation into possible insider trading on the part of Perry, an investigation which was later terminated.

According to the Huffington Post, Perry purchased 2,800 shares of stock in Kinetics Concepts, Inc., a company owned by a top Perry donor James Leininger, in late January 1996. Perry sold his stock for a profit of $38,000 one month later. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Perry admitted he spoke with Leininger on the same day he made his stock purchase, but denied the topic of stocks came up in their conversation.

Ray Sullivan, communications director for Perry, said the investigation was a result of attacks from his Democratic opponent in the lieutenant governor’s race and a Democratic congressman who requested the investigation be conducted. Sullivan noted “the allegations were not based on the use of government information, as Congress is accused of doing.” The SEC later terminated the investigation and did not pursue any enforcement action against the governor, according to a letter provided to ABC News.

“Bottom line was, SEC looked at that, and they said there wasn’t anything to it,” Perry said when asked by ABC News about the investigation. “All I’m asking is for Nancy Pelosi to turn over her records to the SEC and let them make that, make that decision, so the idea that a United States congressman who has information or who passes legislation that they know is going to have an impact on the market and then use that type of inside information to enrich themselves, that is a very, very serious charge and one that Congress best deal with, and best deal with in a hurry.”

Perry’s holdings were put into a blind trust in 1998, and since then he has had no involvement in his stock portfolio, which is managed by a blind trust.

While in Mississippi, Perry was accompanied by Henry Barbour, a Perry supporter and fundraiser and nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who said the Texas governor still has the fundraising muscle to remain viable in the race.

“He has definitely has sufficient resources to run a very strong race,” Barbour said. “He is in Mississippi today, and we raised good money.”

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