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Perry hits populist notes in New Hampshire


NASHUA, NH -- Rick Perry focused his ire on Wall Street on Wednesday, castigating "high rollers" and reckless DC insiders who "snookered" Americans.

Perry struck populist notes while stumping in the Granite State today, following a day's worth of campaigning in which he focused on immigration.

"What's wrong with America can be diagrammed on a napkin," he told guests at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Nashua Wednesday. "And it is a straight line between two dots. Between Washington and Wall Street."

"Americans were snookered into deals with zero down and balloon payments and the regulators fell asleep at the switch," he said after accusing "washington politicians" of pressuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into offering risky loans.

"They were betting against America," he said of bankers "who hatched get rich quick schemes" to profit off the market crash.

Perry has been hitting upon a reformist theme in recent weeks on the campaign trail, calling, for instance, for a ban on insider trading in Congress, and calling for the ouster of several top Obama administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Attorney General Eric Holder and Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Perry has aggressively derided Treasury and Fed officials this week after a Bloomberg story revealed previously unknown Fed loans to banks in late 2008.

He has also worked to paint himself as an "outsider" both to big banks and the Beltway crowd. It's been a tool he's used, too, to distinguish himself from his primary opponents; Perry called both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney "substantial insiders on Wall St and Washington, D.C." during television interviews this morning.

Perry also committed a minor error in his interview this morning on Fox News, talking about his work to get ready for New Hampshire's "caucuses." The state, rather proudly, hosts a primary, which is the first such contest in the country.

The Texas governor later admitted the flub.

"Yep I did," he said, asked if he made a gaffe with the comment. "I will do that from time to time."