BEDFORD, N.H. – Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican who has often voted against his own party in Congress, is generally considered the consummate outsider in the GOP field. But according to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Paul is as much an “insider” as other candidates.
During the Saturday night New Hampshire debate sponsored by ABC News and Yahoo! News, debate co-moderator George Stephanopoulos asked Perry to weigh in on a discussion between Paul and former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum about corruption charges leveled against the former Pennsylvania Senator.
On that topic, Perry responded: “I think you’ve just seen a great example of why I got in this race. Because I happen to think I’m the only outsider with the possible exception of Jon Huntsman who has not been part of the problem in Washington, D.C.”
“We have to nominate someone who can beat Barack Obama, who can get the tea party behind them, that can go to Washington, D.C. and stop the corrupt spending that has been going on,” Perry added.
“And it doesn’t make any difference whether you’re an insider from Washington, D.C. or an insider from Wall Street. That is what Americans, rightfully, see is the real problem in America today. They want someone that has a record of executive governing experience like I have in Texas.
“I’ve been the commander in chief of 20,000-plus troops that get deployed. I have been the governor of a state that has created 1 million net new jobs. That is a record that American people are looking for. That is what Americans are looking for: an outsider that is not corrupted by the process.”
“So, Governor, you’re saying Congressman Paul is an insider?” Stephanopoulos asked, somewhat incredulously.
“I am telling you, anybody who has had as many — here’s what frustrates me,” Perry said, “is that you go get the earmarks and then you vote against the bill. Now, I don’t know what they call that in other places, but Congressman Paul, in Texas, we call that hypocrisy.”