Perry to Formally Propose Shuttering Agencies

By Jay Root, The Texas Tribune

BETTENDORF, Iowa (THE TEXAS TRIBUNE) – Rick Perry will famously remember the three federal agencies he wants to shut down in a key policy speech in Iowa on Tuesday, but the “oops” heard around the world is still a big hurdle here.

Perry delivers a speech in eastern Iowa tonight and then plans a major policy roll-out on government reform Tuesday morning. The initiative is described as sweeping and will include the proposal to shut down the U.S. Departments of Education, Commerce and, yes, a third one — Energy, aides say.

The Texas governor is banking big on Iowa, which begins the delegate-awarding process with its caucuses on Jan. 3. Unless Perry gets some momentum here to carry him through the next early states, including South Carolina, it’s hard to see a path to the nomination for him.

Perry was already tied for fifth place, at the time with Newt Gingrich, before his disastrous Nov. 9 debate. Perry did far better Saturday night during a debate on foreign policy in South Carolina, but a new privately conducted poll, reported on by Politico, shows a burst of upward momentum for Gingrich and nothing but stagnation for Perry.

“I think he still has a shot. It’s going to be difficult,” said Iowa University political scientist Tim Hagle. He said voters had already begun to doubt Perry’s readiness as a presidential candidate when he melted down on stage in Michigan and couldn’t remember all three of the federal departments he wanted to shutter.

But Hagle said Iowa, at this late stage, is far more fluid than it has been in decades, so voters are as up for grabs as they can be.

Perry is scheduled to speak Monday night at the Scott County GOP Ronald Reagan Dinner. Accompanied by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Perry will roll out his government reform policy here Tuesday morning. Perry will also talk about reforms for the U.S. Congress and the judicial branch, according to a Republican source with knowledge of the proposal.

“All three branches will be touched,” the Republican said. In the wake of revelations by CBS’s 60 Minutes about insider stock trading by members of Congress, Perry just cut a new ad calling for a law that criminalizes the activity.

The Texas governor has events scheduled in New Hampshire and New York this week before returning to Iowa on Saturday.

  • vicki

    We might tend to believe him a little more if he’d shut down some of the ridiculous departments in his own state first. Can you believe you have to have a state license to sell chickens, eggs, or home-propogated plants? I’ve heard rumors that you also have to petition the state for a license to cut hair, apply make-up, or even run an employment agency! Check it out for yourself: Perry needs to tend to his own backyard before he tries to take on managing the rest of the nation. He’s been Governor of TX for how many years?

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  • Saul Quinn

    What really stumped Rick Perry was when he turned to Ron Paul for help and Ron showed him five figures because he wants to shutdown 5 departments not 3. The rest is history.

    Stupidity is contagious in the GOP. Yesterday Herman Cain was loony during his comments on Libya something he is clueless about. Kind of like a George W. Bush lost in the headlights look.

    • Saul Quinn

      Nobody wants to admit anymore that they are a Republican or Tea Bag member. Their party is over before the election is even close to starting. Chalk it up to sexual indiscretion, stupid candidates, shameful Koch Brother meddling in politics like all these TV ads just promoting the coal and oil industries and the need to ruin the environment so the Tea Party founders get all the money and control this country so they can pollute it and ruin the air, water and soil so the poor and middle class die off while the super rich build bigger mansions.

  • darrell

    perry needs people in his organization to do an intervention with him. the candidate he is now is going to have to die and be reborn if he plans to have any hopes of winning the nomination at this point. when you cant even beat out Bachmann in the polls this close to the primaries you have not only stepped in it, but your knee deep in it.

  • NiteNurse

    While I hate Perry I do like the idea of either shutting down departments or maybe combining departments. Many companies or businesses will shut a department down to save money. Trimming work as needed. I think there are so many government and state departments that many of them don’t know what the other one is doing making it less efficient to do work. So many times we think the solution to a problem is creating a department to deal with it but sometimes you just need to plain handle the problem.

  • Saul Quinn

    Jay Leno has mentioned why he thinks Rick Perry wants to shutdown the Department of Education: “It didn’t help Rick Perry.”

    Rick Perry must have slept through his years at Texas A & M. His grade point average and grades were awful. Now Rick Perry is trying to make a comeback in politics as a comedian. Making fun of himself in debates. Although it is odd at best it is down right dumb if you are running for President. Rick keeps gesturing like Steve Martin did in the 1970s during his “I am a wild and crazy guy,” phase.

  • Saul Quinn

    Comic Jimmy Fallen mentioned on his show “Late Night,” that Rick Perry’s explained his new strategy, “Destroy the three government departments…
    he will after he remembers what they are.”

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