BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. - Rick Perry may have dropped his attacks on Mitt Romney and Bain Capital from his stump speech, but in two interviews today he was questioned about his critique, which some prominent Republicans are labeling as anti-entrepreneurship.
"Well it's pretty hard to make the argument that the governor of the state that's created more jobs than any other job in the nation is against the free market," Perry said on FOX today when asked about accusations that his attack on Romney's role at Bain Capital were anti-free market. "You talk about barking up the wrong tree. That's a waste of time."
"I think we're making the point that the Republican Party should always be about creating an environment where jobs can be created. There are a lot of private equity firms that come in and they help build jobs, but in those cases where they've come in and basically taken the profits out of these companies and then sold them for a quick profit, I'm not for that and I don't think most people in South Carolina are," said Perry.
The Texas governor, who is doing a series of radio and television interviews today, was asked about the topic again on Laura Ingraham's Radio Show.
Perry wants the people of South Carolina to evaluate Romney's tenure at Bain Capital, specifically pointing to two area companies which Bain Capital took over and eliminated hundreds of jobs.
"It's a matter about vetting a candidate," said Perry on FOX. "I mean, I didn't hear anybody questioning when they were attacking me for things that I've done. So the fact is this process is about winnowing out individuals who and testing whether or not they're a flawed candidate or not. And I will tell you that when people can point to where you made a quick profit and kicked people out of their jobs, that is an issue that's got to be addressed."
Perry debuted the vulture line on Tuesday, but by Wednesday afternoon, the line of attack was removed from his speech. While meeting voters at the Lizard's Thicket this morning, Perry never mentioned Romney or Bain Capital by name, instead only referencing the need to replace Washington and Wall Street insiders with an outsider like himself.