Gov. Rick Perry on the Attack in Iowa

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 28, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, HOST: What are your plans for Iowa, and how do you expect to do?

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it's a sprint, that's for sure. We're moving across a lot of Iowa and hitting a lot of not just small towns but medium-sized towns and be in Des Moines a great bit. So we're going to be all over Iowa.

And the crowds have been fantastic. I mean, we've hit coffee shops that -- 200 to 300 people and flowing out into the streets and a lot of excitement. So the weather has been fabulous, for one thing. So all those stories about Iowa in December, they may have been true in the past, but this has been some just fabulous weather. And the forecast is for it to be nice all the way through Tuesday.

So we're going to keep running and gunning and talking to people and sharing with them our vision for an outsider to come into Washington, D.C., and to really overhaul that place.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, what has been sort of your feedback from the people that you've been out there talking to about their concerns about the direction that they'd like to see this country go in?

PERRY: Well, people have really lost confidence in Washington and Wall Street. You know, those are two institutions that historically, people look to and I think felt relatively good. I mean, even though the poll numbers for Congress -- I mean, they're down -- I don't know if you can have a negative rating, but they're approaching it.

But they care about their families. They care about the dignity of being able to have a job. They understand that Washington is so out of touch. When I talk about a part-time Congress, let me tell you, that is the line that people, no matter where I am, they really respond to. I mean, and it is an uproarious applause that you get when you talk about, Let's have the legislature, the Congress, part-time, cut their pay, send them back home, let them have a real job and stay with their constituents and live with the laws that they pass. And I mean, people come out of their seats.

And it's not a radical idea because my home state, our legislature only meets for 140 days every other year. We come in, do the work, we pay the legislators $600 a month. They get their work done, then they go back home to their real jobs and live with their constituents and live under the laws that they pass.

Americans get that. And they want a Congress that they can trust again, and one of the ways to do that is to have a Congress that's not up there making $174,000 a year and staying in Washington, D.C., and bickering and not getting their work done.

GUILFOYLE: Well, now, Michele Bachmann has said that she feels that you are guilty of crony capitalism. And I know you're trying to distinguish yourself as somebody who is a non-insider. What do you say to those remarks?

PERRY: Well, I just refer people to the state of Texas for the last decade and being the job creation capital of this country. If that is crony capitalism, America needs some of that.

We know how to create jobs. And you keep the taxes low, you have a regulatory climate that's fair and predictable, a legal system that doesn't allow for over-suing. Listen, the -- if you want to trade a Democrat insider for a Republican insider, people know that's not going to change Washington, D.C. They're really looking for an outsider that's got a record of job creation and executive governing experience. And I'm the only one that is standing up on the Republican side and has those qualifications.

GUILFOYLE: Let's take a -- kind of a snapshot of where your campaign stands now. You had a very strong start, a lot of enthusiasm about your candidacy, about the values, about what you've been able to accomplish in the state of Texas. You know, a little bit of difficulty there during the debates in the beginning. And then now it seems you feel that you're picking up some more momentum. And what do you attribute that to?

PERRY: Well, I just think that, you know, you're kind of and up and down. Look, there's been four or five different individuals who have led in the Iowa polls. So I think people are very unsettled. They're seeing - - you know, there are three really, you know, strong individuals that are at -- on the conservative side.

But again, I go back to this outsider versus the insider. I'm the only outsider that's in there. And people are really responding to that. They're sick of Washington's bickering. They're sick of Washington's debt. They're sick of these individuals who they've seen be on both sides of these issues, whether it's the individual mandate or whether it's earmarks. And you know, they're just tired of Washington, D.C.'s, business as usual.

They look to the state of Texas. They see that it's been run well. It's a job creating machine. And that's the kind of governing leadership that they're looking for in Iowa, and I think all across America.

GUILFOYLE: As going forward now for the next five days, I mean, you look at the polling, and pretty consistently, Mitt Romney has been kind of stagnant, some might say, at 25 percent, around there. Yet you've seen also Newt's numbers start to drop. Do you feel that there's a real opportunity here for you to take some of those votes? And to do so, what do you want to say to those voters that are watching out tonight in Iowa? Why should they choose Governor Perry?

PERRY: Well, I've got a proven track record of creating jobs and making government work, and for a decade now. In last five years, Texas led the nation in job creation. If the greatest concern is to have a man of character and integrity and of known job-creating capability, that knows how to work in Washington, D.C., or Austin, Texas, for that matter, to get Washington back on track, cut the regulations, cut the regulatory burden that's on these businesses out there, have a tax structure that allows people to keep more of what they want, that's what Americans are looking for.

They're not looking for the smoothest debater, the slickest politician. They're looking for somebody that knows how to deliver on the economic side, that is an individual who is not going to apologize for being a man of values and character.

GUILFOYLE: Now, it's very important, people feel, going forward to pick a candidate and that the nominee, in fact, be someone that can compete head to head on all levels with Barack Obama, and that includes having a structure and an organization that is ready to go forward.

There's been some criticism about whether or not you're able to do that because you've had some change-ups in your campaign in terms of your staffing, and in particular, what happened with your inability to get on the ballot in Virginia. How do you address those concerns? And what is your plan to try and rectify the situation in Virginia?

PERRY: You know, obviously, the Virginia situation is a very difficult one for everyone. I mean, when there's only two people that were able to get on the ballot, that tells you that there may be a structural problem in the Virginia process. So it's one of the reasons that we filed suit against them.

You know, I don't want the hundreds of thousands of people that are my supporters in Virginia to be disenfranchised because their party mechanism has made it so hard to be on the ballot. So you know, in the state of Texas, you can pay $5,000 or you can go into 15 of our congressional districts and get 300 signatures, and you're on the ballot. It ought to be substantially simpler in Virginia, as well.

GUILFOYLE: Let's address and issue that we spoke about earlier on our program, and that is with respect to the homecoming parades to honor the troops. You have some specific viewpoint, very strong position on that.

PERRY: I do. When I'm the president of the United States, not only our men and women who are coming home from combat going to feel appreciated, they're also going to have parades. I mean, the idea -- I was veteran. I mean, I wanted to tell Mr. Beckel that in the late 1960s, I volunteered for the United States Air Force. And I appreciate Eric pointing that out to him today on FOX.


PERRY: So good job -- good job for Eric on that. But you know, the fact is, these are -- this is a small, tiny percentage of our population that are sacrificing and have been for nine years. Their families -- I mean, if nothing else, let's let their families people know how much we appreciate the sacrifices that they've made over the course of these years while their sons and daughters and their loved ones were over serving around the world. I mean, a parade? Come on! I mean, what's so difficult about -- we have parades for everybody. As a matter of fact, you all talked about that on "The Five" today.


PERRY: I mean, we have parades for practically everything. Why not a parade to say thank you for selfless sacrifice of our men and women in uniform?


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