Perry Lays Out Plan to Uproot and Overhaul Washington

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 16, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: For three years under President Barack Obama, it has been business as usual in Washington, D.C. Now the revolving door of lobbyists in and out of government is still very much spinning out of control and the swamp on Capitol Hill, well, it's murkier than ever. Presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry is now on a mission to change all of that and he's now proposing some pretty drastic measures in order to turn this country around. One of which is to quote, "Deconstruct the permanent political class in D.C." Take a look.


GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS: Congress is out of touch because congressmen are overpaid, they are overstaffed, and they are away from home way too much. America has had enough of that. I happen to believe it is time to create a part-time Congress where their pay is cut in half, their office budgets are cut in half and their time in Washington is cut in half.


HANNITY: Now, the governor's proposal quickly captured the attention of top Democrats. For example, former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Now, needless to say, Mr. Hoyer does not appear to be ready or willing to give up his day job and even accused Governor Perry of pandering to the Tea Party.

Joining me now to tell us just how serious it is, presidential candidate, the governor of the great state of Texas, Rick Perry. Governor, how are you? Welcome back.

PERRY: Sean, good, it's great to be with you again. Thank you very much.

HANNITY: You know, I kind of like the idea. I'm figuring that if they are not there that often, they can't do as much damage. I think we're going to be better off the more vacation they get. Maybe even let them keep their pay and we will end up, you know, financially a lot better off.

PERRY: You think about it, I think Steny Hoyer or someone of his elk said that was a radical idea. Well, it's not a radical idea. You think about how many state legislatures meet part-time. I just left New Hampshire a couple hours ago. They meet part-time and they get their work done. My home state we meet for 140 days every other year. Texas would be the 13th largest economy in the world if it were a stand-alone entity and we are able to get our work done. And the best I can tell, Texas is doing pretty good compared to the rest of the country from the standpoint of job creation.

So, I think having a part-time Congress with half the staff, half the pay and let them spend half the time in Washington, D.C. they have been spending and I got to figure America is going to be twice as good off, at least.

HANNITY: Well, look at, for example, we had Peter Schweizer on the program last night. Peter Schweizer has a great new book, "Throw Them All Out" is the name of the book. In the book, remember Martha Stewart, insider trading. The country was outraged. You have Occupy Wall Street, we're going to show some incredible tape coming up later in the show. But they are upset about crony, quote, "capitalism." Everybody in America would go to jail, Governor, except those that work in Washington. Congressmen and senators, they are legally allowed to be involved in Insider Trading. Can you believe that?

PERRY: People are fed up with this. You know, the Freedom of Information Act, they have exempted themselves from that. They don't have to show the conversations or the e-mails or the texts -- I mean, that's what Americans are really upset with. Not only have they now taken us to over $15 trillion, we clicked over $15 trillion worth of national debt. And you'd think that there's a party going on in Washington, D.C. And you know what, there is a party going on. And it's on our dime and we are tired of paying for it.

So, part-time legislature, have them live within the same laws that they've passed. That's why -- I think that's the reason the states function as well as they do that have the part-time legislators by and large. You work at a job back home. And I change the law where Congress can have a job, outside income where they go back to wherever they are from. And they work, they live within the communities where they are supposed to be and they live within the laws that they passed.

It makes sense. And I'm telling you, this isn't something that we haven't thought about. This is something that Americans have been I think dreaming about, is having Washington be as inconsequential in their lives as they can be, and I'm going to go to Washington, D.C. and step on some toes. I might have to take a sledgehammer with me to do it, but I guarantee you, we're going to talk about this every day until those congressmen and the Washington bureaucracy understands something, they work for us, not the other way around.

HANNITY: Let me ask you. There's been a lot made of the 53 seconds that you had in the one debate when you forgot the one department you wanted to cut. Later in the program, I want to make a comparison. The president in one speech multiple times, he doesn't know what a navy corpsman is. He said corpse man four or five times. He didn't get as much play as your 53 seconds or Herman Cain recently. He says, to all of you on this Memorial Day, and I see you out there, he doesn't know the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. I have been to what, fifty seven states now?

And I say this because I think there's a double standard in the media. Now, I thought you had a really funny exchange to deal with what every candidate is going to have, a gaffe on the campaign trail. I want to show everybody the funny exchange you had with Scott Pelley.


SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Governor Perry, you advocate the elimination of the Department of Energy. If you eliminate the Department of Energy --

PERRY: Glad you remembered it.


PELLEY: I have had some time to think about it, sir.

PERRY: Me too.



HANNITY: That was -- I think that was probably the funniest moment on the campaign trail. How tough is it, though, when you have a gaffe moment and you have to deal with it? Is it hard?

PERRY: Oh, you know, everybody has it. I mean you go on about your business because I hope this campaign, and I hope this election for the presidency doesn't revolve around who the best debater is. We've got a great debater in the White House, it's just not working out very well for us. As I said earlier, $15 trillion national debt. You think about our credit rating downgraded for the first time in the history of this country. You look at the foreign policy that is just wavering and fuzzy, and people wonder why America has lost its confidence in the economy and it's because of the policies that this president has put in place. That's what we are going to talk about over the course of the election for the presidency, is his record, and his record is abysmal.

HANNITY: Well, and you also have serious proposals, now a part-time Congress, for example, the flat tax which you've gone into detail, your energy proposal. You just came out with a brand new ad attacking the president for saying that the American people are lazy, that we've become a bit lazy. I want to run this ad for people to see it.


OBAMA: We've been a little bit lazy I think over the last couple of decades.

PERRY: Can you believe that, that's what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy? That's pathetic. It's time to clean house in Washington. It's time for a balanced budget amendment that forces Washington to stop overspending. If Congress balks, cut their pay, send them home. Obama's socialist policies are bankrupting America. We must stop him now. I'm Rick Perry, I approve this message.


HANNITY: What do you think it is in the president? This is not the first time that he's gone after the American people. What does it reveal to you about his mind set and his thinking?

PERRY: It reveals to me that he grew up in a privileged way. You know, he never had to really work for anything. He never had to go through what Americans are going through. You know, there's 14-plus million Americans sitting out there, some of them watching this program tonight, that don't have a job. This president has never felt that angst that they have in their heart. And I think he's always, when he has had problems, he's pointed at somebody else's and said, it was their fault, not mine. It's like, he's thinking that that he can go and negotiate because of his great debating skills anyplace in the world. We've seen a number of examples of that where it's just been an abject failure. And as a matter of fact, he's thinking that he's the smartest guy in the room has hurt America around the world, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. And I think that mentality of I'm the smartest guy in the room and therefore it couldn't be my fault is really hurting America.

And we need a president who has been through their ups and downs in life and understand what it's like to have to deal with the issues of our economy that we have today in America. And that's what this election is going to be about, Sean. It's going to be about who has a plan to get America working again. And frankly, who has the ability to make Washington as inconsequential in people's lives as we can make it.

HANNITY: All right. Governor, always appreciate you being on. Thank you for being with us tonight.

PERRY: Sean, it's a great pleasure, sir. Godspeed.

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