Texas Governor Rick Perry, sensing vulnerability in Iowa frontrunner Newt Gingrich's campaign, launched a strong new attack on the former Speaker of the House this morning, targeting Gingrich's spending record in Congress.
"He's the granddaddy of earmarks," Perry said in an interview aboard his bus. "People are worried about the corruption between Washington and Wall Street. And he's been part of that."
Perry also took aim at Rep. Ron Paul on the earmarks issue, saying that Paul has had his own earmarks, even this year.
A few minutes later, talking with voters at Johnson's Restaurant in Elkader, Iowa, Perry expanded his argument to the federal bailout.
"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. They take care of each other," Perry said. "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 told ABC News he sees support for Gingrich in Iowa softening and that the race is still wide open. The Texas governor promised, as he has before, that his campaign will continue no matter how he finishes in the caucuses here.
Watch "Nightline" anchor Terry Moran's full interview with Gov. Rick Perry on "Nightline," Dec. 20 at 11:35 p.m. ET