Without naming names, Rick Perry accused some former members of Congress of "hiding behind a definition" when describing themselves as "consultants" despite engaging in what he believes is lobbying - a veiled swipe at Newt Gingrich, who worked as a consultant for mortgage giant Freddie Mac before its collapse.
"I think we need to look at banning the ability of members to become lobbyists, or at least extending the waiting period beyond the current law, and we also need to look at the definition of lobbying," Perry said today on Sean Hannity's radio show.
"A lot of these members of the legislature or members of Congress, they become, quote, consultants to trade and lobbying organizations without actually registering as lobbyists, but you and I both know that's just, you're hiding behind a definition," he said. "If you're making that kind of money from trade and lobby organizations, yet you're, quote, a consultant there's no difference. Let's quit being politically correct here and call it for what it is. You're trying to influence people. You're getting paid for it. Americans know that's lobbying."
Several months after he retired from Congress, Gingrich was hired as a consultant to Freddie Mac and was paid more than $1.6 million over eight years. Gingrich has insisted he was working as a "consultant," and what he did was different from what a lobbyist does. Perry has yet to take Gingrich on by name for engaging in lobbying.
In a television advertisement released this morning, Perry described himself as a "truth teller" who will fight "political correctness" in the nation's capital, specifically by refusing to ignore that lobbying is a "form of legal corruption."
"Washington is the capital of political correctness, where double-speak reigns and truth is frowned upon," Perry says in the ad. "You can't say that congressmen becoming lobbyists is a form of legal corruption or that we give aid money to countries that oppose America. Or that Washington insiders are bankrupting Social Security. You and I know it's true, but not politically correct. I'm Rick Perry, an outsider who will overhaul Washington and tell you the truth."