Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry asserted on Tuesday that both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, the firm he founded, were "vultures" for preying on distressed companies.
During a town hall event in Fort Mill, S.C, the Texas governor amplified an attack on Romney that's being made by a super PAC which supports former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The Super PAC's film “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” accuses the Republican frontrunner of “looting” companies during his time as the head of Bain Capital.
"I will suggest they're just vultures," Perry told supporters, according to Politico. "They're vultures that are sitting out there on the tree limb, waiting for a company to get sick. And then they swoop in, they eat the carcass, they leave with that and they leave the skeleton."
Speaking to reporters after the event, Perry complained that "greedy people on Wall Street" were taking advantage of small companies, but added that the answer was not more regulation.
"We've got plenty of regulations," he explained. "You got a Congress that's in bed with Wall Street. When you look at Barney Frank, and when you look at the people who did away with the oversight of Glass-Stegal and then go to work for Wall Street firms."
"I think we need to have a serious look at substantially reducing all of the agencies that are supposedly protecting the consumer," Perry continued. "They're not protecting the consumer."
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul labeled criticism from Perry and Gingrich as "attacks on free enterprise."
"It is no surprise that, having spent nearly half a century in government between them, Speaker Gingrich and Governor Perry have resorted to desperate attacks on a subject they don’t understand," she told Politico. "Speaker Gingrich and Governor Perry seem to think that running against the private sector is the way to revive their floundering campaigns."
But Saul will probably have to do a lot more work to turn around the impression that Romney is out of touch with working Americans.
At an event in Rochester, New Hampshire on Sunday, the multimillionaire told voters that he also had worried about getting a pink slip.
"I know what it’s like to worry whether you’re going to get fired," he declared. "There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip."
The next day, the candidate was caught saying that he liked "being able to fire people."
While Romney was talking about "firing" health insurance companies that don't keep customers healthy, the clip is almost certain to haunt him throughout the election season.
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Jan 10, 2012.