FORT MILL, S.C. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry categorized venture capital firms like the one once headed by Mitt Romney, Bain Capital, as “vultures” who prey upon sick companies and “leave the skeleton” behind.
“Allowing these companies to come in and loot the, loot people’s jobs, loot their pensions, loot their ability to take care of their families and I will suggest they’re just vultures,” Perry said during a townhall at a retirement community here. “They’re vultures that sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick and then they swoop in, they eat the carcass. They leave with that and they leave the skeleton.”
Asked by reporters to clarify whether he was directly referencing Bain with that comment, Perry answered, “Sure that’s exactly what I was making. They sit there, and they wait until they see a distressed company, and then they swoop in and you know pick the carcass clean and fly away.”
The Texas governor upped his attacks against Romney, arguing that voters in the Palmetto State will not want to elect a candidate who “gutted” and “looted” companies in South Carolina.
“I don’t think they want someone who has killed jobs in South Carolina on the altar of making more money for themselves and their company,” Perry said of Romney. “His other remark is elect me president because I’ve been in the private sector and I’ve created jobs. Well that’s we’re starting to see maybe not a honest assessment of what he did. He was also involved in the destruction of a lot of jobs in South Carolina.”
“I’ll put my record up against Governor Romney’s any day happily,” Perry continued.
Perry predicted an “honest assessment” of Romney’s record at Bain Capital will be conducted over the course of the next week.
Highlighting the link between Washington and Wall Street, the Texas governor also railed against President Obama for being an insider, noting that his three chiefs of staff all worked on Wall Street.
“You got ask yourself when the last three chiefs of staff for this president came out of wall street, you don’t think there’s a little bit of inside dealing going on there, that their buddies on wall street are calling them up and saying hey, how bout let’s not be quite that tough on those of us on Wall Street, we’re just good old boys out here trying to make a buck,” Perry said.
Perry, who has campaigned here over the past three days while the rest of the Republican field has focused on New Hampshire, said his campaign is looking for a “second wind” in the late January primary and even compared the outcome he needs here in South Carolina to the battle of Jacinto, which served as the decisive victory in the Texas Revolution.
“This isn’t our Alamo. This is our San Jacinto,” Perry said at the townhall.