JOHNSTON, Iowa – Texas Gov. Rick Perry continued to criticize the Washington establishment Thursday, this time taking issue with what he suggested are cozy ties between Wall Street and the federal government
Perry made his point at a “town hall” session here with employees of Pioneer Hi-Bred, the largest producer of hybrid seeds in the United States, after a member of the audience asked how he’d prevent CEOs of financial institutions from allowing their companies to fail.
“I happen to think Wall Street and Washington, D.C., have been in bed together way too long,” Perry said. “One of the reasons that the establishment really doesn’t like me and really doesn’t like my tax plan is because they know I’m going to show up in Washington, D.C., with a sledgehammer and they’re not going to like it. And that’s exactly what I think this country needs in Washington, is somebody who’s not afraid to go in and really crush that system.”
Perry argued some federal banking regulations originated as a “knee-jerk reaction,” and he said he never would have supported a bailout.
“Dodd Frank and that banking regulation that came into place after the Wall Street debacle was a knee-jerk reaction by Washington, D.C., that actually has put us in substantially worse position than we were before,” he said. “It institutionalized what they were trying to keep from happening in the federal government bailout. I would never have bailed anybody out. When you make really bad decisions, if you are big too fail, you are too big - and I don’t care whether you’re a country or whether you’re a corporation or whether you’re a small business down on Main Street, and I sure haven’t seen any small businesses being bailed out by government.”
Perry reiterated his view that the federal government should not meddle with issues that should be left to the states.
“I’m the first to tell people, I’m not a big fan of Washington, D.C.,” Perry said. “I think they need to do a few things and do those few things really well, but I don’t think they have the intellectual firepower to decide how one size can fit all these 50 laboratories of innovations that are out here called states.”
Perry closed his town hall by posing a new question to the audience about the state of their lives, asking, “Are you better off today than you were $4 trillion ago?”
Wearing his cowboy boots and no tie during his second day in Iowa this week, Perry conducted the town hall after touring the Pioneer Hi-Bred facilities. Perry, who once served as agriculture commissioner in Texas, credited the employees for boosting the food supply around the world through their research and development of hybrid seeds.