Rick Perry was asked last week if the supported the Wall Street bailout — also known as TARP. That bill, passed in November 2008, has been frequently criticized by libertarians, fiscal conservatives and tea partyers as it was corportism at its worst. However, several of the candidates seeking the nomination - including Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain, supported the bailout.
Perry responded, in his usual Texas drawl, “No, ma’am.” But Perry has played both sides of the issue:
As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Perry co-signed a letter with Joe Manchin, the Democrat Governors Association chairman encouraging leaders in Washington to, “leave partisanship at the door and pass an economic recovery package.”
Later that day, Perry issued a second statement, that read, “In a free market economy, government should not be in the business of using taxpayer dollars to bail out corporate America.”
The letter signed by Perry and then-Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is very clear in its support of the bailout, though they called it the “recovery package” (emphasis mine):
We strongly urge Congress to leave partisanship at the door and pass an economic recovery package. We both believe that it’s time to stand together for our country.
There is a time for partisanship and there is a time for getting things done. No one likesthe hand they’ve been dealt, and now is not the time to assign blame. It is time forWashington, D.C. to step up, be responsible and do what’s in the best interest of American taxpayers and our economy.