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Public Statements

Fox News "Hannity" - Transcript

Interview

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Date:
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SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Joining me with reaction to tonight's results, from South Carolina, is presidential candidate, the governor of the great state of Texas, Rick Perry is back with us. Governor, welcome back, sir.

GOV. RICK PERRY, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sean, thank you. It's good to be with you.

HANNITY: All right, Governor, I saw your press release, and we just heard from Newt Gingrich and Senator Santorum, and in your press release, you said, "Tonight's results here in New Hampshire show that there is a race for a conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. It remains wide open."

It's interesting that all three of you now are saying the same thing. Is there a chance that you kind of split that conservative vote that you seem to all be appealing for tonight?

PERRY: Well, I think that the campaign that we put together here in South Carolina is really strong. I got the speaker of the House, Bobby Harrell, who's endorsed us, Mick Mulvaney, some real serious conservatives, and that's a message that's going to resonate with the people of South Carolina.

These are folks who get it from the standpoint of we got to have a real conservative, an individual who's got a track record of creating jobs. Mick Mulvaney makes a powerful presentation for us when he talks about he's -- he knows all these candidates. He's looked at all the candidates, and there's only one that's got the record of job creation.

A lot of people talk about what they're going to do. I've done it in the state of Texas by creating a million jobs. And that is a story that really resonates here in the Palmetto State, particularly when you look at the assault that they're under by this administration, whether it's the Justice Department going after their voter ID law, their immigration law, and then of course, the Boeing story. And Texas being a right to work state and us working every day to push back on this administration -- those are stories that really resonate with the Palmetto state voter.

HANNITY: Let me ask you, Governor, because I've been following your speeches as you've been going around South Carolina. You are talking about the success of Texas. You are making comparisons about the Obama economy. But you've also had some very harsh words about Governor Mitt Romney, who now has won Iowa and New Hampshire.

You said -- talking about his days at Bain Capital, Bain Capital compared companies like that, they leave the carcasses behind. Bain is a vulture capital company. They walked into South Carolina, a company like Gaffney. They picked the bones clean of those people who lost their jobs in the same mill. You say, rather than restructure jobs, they're trying to make money. Ethics get thrown out the door. They make as much money as they can in a hurry.

You know, when I hear that, it almost sounds like "Occupy Wall Street." It doesn't sound like somebody that is governing the state of Texas as a conservative.

PERRY: Sean, there's a real difference between venture capitalism and vulture capitalism. Venture capitalism we like. Vulture capitalism, no. And the fact of the matter is that he's going to have to face up to this at some time or another, and South Carolina is as good a place to draw that line in the sand as any, because those people in Gaffney, South Carolina, understand what happened to that photo album company. The folks in Georgetown, South Carolina, understand the jobs that were lost and that Bain Capital took $20 million and $65 million respectively from each of those deals and walked away from it.

That's not what we're looking for in a president of the United States. We're looking for someone that knows how to build jobs, create jobs. And that's what I've done in the state of Texas. So there's no use trying to paper this over. That is a problem for Mitt, and he's going to have to face it.

HANNITY: Well, are you saying that he's -- you said specifically that they're not ethical. You said specifically -- you're saying that Mitt Romney, Governor Romney, is a vulture capitalist, that Governor Romney is unethical?

PERRY: What I'm saying is that the way that they operate at Bain Capital, with those two particular companies in those two South Carolina cities, I think was irresponsible. So you know, the truth is the truth, Sean, and there's no use in us trying to shy away from it. If we think for a minute that Barack Obama is not going to attack this and talk about it, we might as well get it out in the open and discuss it right now...

HANNITY: No, but -- but...

PERRY: ... and find out, is this the type of conservative...

HANNITY: But Governor...

PERRY: ... that we want representing us at the top of the ticket. I happen to think that South Carolina voters want someone who has served this country in the military...

HANNITY: Governor, let me ask you this, though because you -- we know whoever gets this nomination is going to be attacked. It's going to be a billion-dollar campaign. Certainly, there are areas, legitimate areas of disagreement you can have with Governor Romney, his evolved positions on guns and abortion, or Romneycare. I think those are all legitimate debate here.

But there also is -- you know, I just think from -- as a conservative, to say that those people that are willing to invest their money for companies that have either been mismanaged or they're headed for bankruptcy, and they come in and try and get them profitable again, and to say they're vultures and they're unethical -- I mean, that's about as severe a charge as you can make. And frankly, you're right, it is one that I would expect from Barack Obama, who says Republicans want dirty air and dirty water.

PERRY: Well, the fact is the folks in Gaffney, South Carolina, and Georgetown, South Carolina, agree with that. And I happen to think that if they were going to be real venture capitalists, they would come in and help clean up those companies, save those jobs, rather than coming in and picking their bones clean, which is exactly what I think they did, and then walk away from them with huge amounts of profit.

So if those profits had have been put back into those companies, my instinct is there'd still be people employed...

HANNITY: Would you say Governor Romney did...

PERRY: ... here and still have pensions...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... a good job at Bain with, say, staples or some of their success stories, where they did invest their money and many jobs were created? Would you say in other Bain ventures that they were successful?

PERRY: Sure. There were places where they were successful, but these are the places where they came in and really destroyed these people's lives. And when you walk into those two communities and you talk to the people here, they understand that they were used. They feel very used. And he's going to have to face that when he comes to South Carolina, so...

HANNITY: Yes.

PERRY: You know, this campaign covers a lot of ground, and it's about those flip-flops that Mitt's made on, whether it's guns or whether it's on abortion, whether it's on traditional marriage, whether it's on global warming. He's going to have to come to the South...

HANNITY: All right...

PERRY: ... and talk to people who have very strong opinions about all of those. This venture capital versus vulture capitalism is just one of them.

HANNITY: All right, we're going to watch this very closely, and we'll see you next Monday, the Fox News Channel debate from South Carolina. Governor, we'll see you there.

PERRY: We look forward to it.

HANNITY: Thank you, as always, for being with us.

PERRY: Thank you, Sean. Godspeed.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


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