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Perry to unveil plan to 'uproot' branches of government

By Carrie Dann, NBC News

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- Previewing an address he will deliver Tuesday morning in Eastern Iowa, Gov. Rick Perry on Monday night promised to "uproot" the three branches of government and institute wide-reaching reforms throughout the federal apparatus. 

"Tomorrow I'm going to unveil a plan to uproot all three branches of government and overhaul Washington," he said in an address to the Scott County GOP, adding that his plan will "touch each branch of government, because they each have contributed to the demise of America." 

Perry said his reform proposal will target "lifetime federal judges who arrogantly rewrite our laws from the bench," as well as the "permanent bureaucracy of the executive branch, which thwarts the will of the American people to advance a big government agenda." And he pledged to outline "dramatic reforms for a Congress that not only spends too much but is IN Washington too much." 

The Texas governor, who rode an anti-Washington wave to victory in his 2010 gubernatorial re-election race, noted that the DC metro area has not suffered from the same recession that closed stores on Main Streets all over the country. 

"That's because all those lobbyists, that's because all those overpaid czars and bureaucrats haven't suffered one bit while we've been going through one of the worst economies that this country's ever seen," he said. 

Both in his book Fed Up and in a recent interview with the editorial board of the New Hampshire Union Leader, Perry has advocated for term limits for members of the judiciary, even those in the Supreme Court. He's also pledged to eliminate earmarks and wipe out several federal agencies. But aides say that his address tomorrow - also in Bettendorf - will break new ground in its proposals for specific federal reforms. 

During his remarks to a receptive crowd of GOP activists, Perry did not take explicit aim at any of his Republican rivals, although he criticized those who would merely "nibble around the edges" with reforms -- a reference he has previous made to Mitt Romney. 

"Washington doesn't need a new coat of paint," he asserted. "It needs a complete overhaul" 

But he did slam President Barack Obama for recent comments that Americans have been "a little bit lazy" at working to attract businesses from around the globe. 

"Mr. President, Americans aren't lazy, and they aren't soft. Americans do not lack a vision or ambition," he said. "We lack leadership in Washington DC." 

In his criticism of the Beltway culture, Perry also made a joke at his own expense, referencing his long "brain freeze" at the CNBC debate during which he was unable to recall the name of the Department of Energy. 

"They think the answer is, every problem, let's just add a new agency of government. And I can remember most of em," he said to laughter and applause.