ELKDADER, Iowa - Texas Gov. Rick Perry branded the Wall Street bailout as the "greatest act of thievery in American history" Monday and criticized Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney for their support of TARP.
"There have been people on Wall Street that have been betting against America, and then we bailed them out, and there's nothing right about that," Perry told a crowd of around 50 people at Johnson's Restaurant. "On Wall Street some people got rich. I mean literally, insanely rich, and they were betting against millions of homeowners with these subprime mortgages. Wall Street bailout was the single greatest act of thievery in American history. And Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney were for it."
"That's what insiders do," Perry continued. "They take care of each other. They protect the moneyed interest and then they leave the tab to those of us in the middle class. They put Wall Street, K Street, which is where all the lobbyists live, ahead of Main Street. Washington's wasteful spending's wrong. It's unjust, it's got to stop and that's the reason I offer myself as an outsider who will walk up there, who doesn't have any connections with the folks on Wall Street or on K Street for that matter."
Perry further described the nexus between Washington, D.C. and Wall Street as "a den of thieves" that leaves the American people to deal with "picking up the carnage."
The Texas governor presented himself as the alternative to a culture of wasteful spending in Washington, D.C.
"We don't have to choose this time between a Democrat spendaholic or a Republican spendaholic," Perry said noting that as governor of Texas he signed six balanced budgets.
"We shouldn't have to settle for a candidate this time around that's going to support bailouts or wasteful earmarks as some of those on the stage with me have, and we don't have to resign ourselves to these gross abuses that we've seen from the standpoint of the permanent bureaucracy in the ruling class."