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  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Republican presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry, right, tours Resonetics Wednesday, August 17, 2011.




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry shakes hands with Nancy Hayford during a tour of Resonetics Wednesday, August 17, 2011.




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry, center, tours Resonetics Wednesday, August 17, 2011.




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry tours Resonetics Wednesday, August 17, 2011..




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry's campaign didn't give out wooden nickles during a breakfast at the Bedford Village Inn Wednesday, August 17, 2011. They were actually wooden eggs!




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry tours speaks at the Bedford Village Inn Wednesday, August 17, 2011..




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Republican presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, speaks to business leaders Wednesday, August 17, 2011, during a breakfast at the Bedford Village Inn.




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry speaks at a breakfast Wednesday, August 17, 201, at the Bedford Village Inn.




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Republican presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, talks with business leaders Wednesday, August 17, 2011, at the Bedford Village Inn during a Politics and Eggs breakfast.




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Republican presidential candidate, Gove. Rick Perry of Texas, is swarmed by media outside the Bedford Village Inn Wednesday, August 17, 2011, during a Politics and Eggs forum.




  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, talks with media outside the Bedford Village Inn Wednesday, August 17, 2011, during a Politics and Eggs forum.




  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Facebook Don Himsel at The Telegraph


    George Katis, a Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce member and owner of Nashua Paint and Wallpaper, questionsTexas Governor Rick Perry on border security during the candidates visit to Resonetics in Nashua Wednesday, August 17 2011.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Facebook Don Himsel at The Telegraph


    Texas Governor Rick Perry at Resonetics in Nashua Wednesday, August 17 2011.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry talks with media and signs a wooden egg for a fan outside the Bedford Village Inn Wednesday, August 17, 2011, during a Politics and Eggs forum.




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Perry plays anti-corporate populist during campaign stops in Nashua and Bedford 

NASHUA – Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry played anti-corporate populist and aggressive tax cutter Wednesday, embracing cuts in corporate taxes while condemning multinational companies that pay too little.

Perry harped on jobs and the economy in his first speech and issue-based forum in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

The newest contender fielded an array of questions at both events ranging from man-made global warming (“It’s unproven,” he said) and illegal immigration to a constitutional amendment for nationwide capital punishment.

Meeting with local business leaders here and at a Politics and Eggs forum in Bedford, the Texas governor said the 35 percent corporate tax rate has chased $1.3 trillion in capital to lower-taxed countries.

“There is no question in my mind that for us to get back the manufacturing and to get back the economy … we have to lower the corporate tax rate,” Perry said while chatting with prominent business owners at Resonetics LLC.

Perry praised the plans of South Carolina Republican congressman Tim Scott, who proposed cutting the tax to 23 percent and who also favors abolishing the income tax and replacing it with a national sales or fair tax.

“I am not saying it’s the right idea, but it’s heading in the right direction,” Perry said of the fair tax concept.

In Bedford, when asked to defend General Electric’s use of the Byzantine federal tax code to pay such a low federal tax rate, the candidate flashed his populist credentials.

“I can’t explain that. That’s as easy as it gets,” Perry said. “The idea because you have a good relationship with the political world in Washington, D.C., and just because you get chosen to be on the governor’s business council, is not a good enough reason for you not to pay your fair share of taxes.”

A day earlier, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney said in Plymouth that his still under-wraps tax-reform plan will not permit the wealthiest to pay less than they do now.

“I’m not for tax cuts for the rich,” Romney said. “The rich can take care of themselves. I want to get America working again. And so I want to make sure that whatever we do in the tax code, we’re not giving a windfall to the very wealthy.”

A new poll from Magellan Strategies done for the NH Journal on Monday and Tuesday had Romney solidly in front with 36 percent to 18 percent for Perry and 14 percent for Texas congressman Ron Paul, who’s expected to campaign in New Hampshire today .

Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann was at 10 percent. All other candidates were in single digits.

Perry embraced getting companies to bring offshore profits back to this country by lowering the corporate tax for five years to 0 percent but only if the money is used to create jobs.

“What drove those individuals offshore was over-taxation, over-regulation,” Perry said.

Nashua tax expert David Heath told Perry that lowering the corporate tax rate for all would do more.

“How about both?” Perry answered.

In an interview, Heath said an earmarked tax cut for job creation would be too easy for accountants to manipulate and too difficult to enforce.

“We’ve got to get the tax rate down to a level where the capital stays here, some studies suggest even at 30 percent, that money will rush back,” said Heath, one of the state’s leading experts on business taxes. “We’ve got to get people with capital to start making financial decisions instead of tax decisions.”

Perry remains convinced that cutting taxes would not only spur job growth but bring in more federal revenue.

“I believe with all my heart that President Reagan was right on supply side economics; it’s worked in Texas,” Perry said.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley attacked Perry’s trumpeting that 40 percent of the nation’s jobs since mid-2009 were created in his state.

“Thirty-eight percent of those jobs created under Perry were at or were below the minimum wage so they paid $14,000 a year or less,” Buckley said. “The economic miracle that is the Rick Perry story in Texas is a mirage.”

George Katis, owner of Nashua Wallpaper, said that based on media accounts, he expected Perry to be a “far right-wing Republican” who Katis feared would not play well in New Hampshire with its massive bloc of moderate, independent voters.

Perry told Katis the first priority on illegal immigration is to secure the border and only after that should Congress consider comprehensive reform.

“Obviously you are correct, you aren’t going to ship 12 million people back to the country they came from but stay away clearly from this issue that makes these individuals citizens of the United States,” Perry told Katis. “I think we can sit down and have an adult, grown-up conversation.”

That sat well with Katis.

“I liked him, but New Hampshire is a center to center-right state, and if I were him, I just wouldn’t talk about those social conservative views here because it will hurt him,” Katis said.

Former Republican State Chairman John Stabile knows all about Texas pols, having led in New Hampshire the late Gov. John Connolly’s ill-fated, White House run in 1980 and having prominently backed Vice President George H.W. Bush’s successful race to become president in 1988.

“Obviously, the oil-based economy down there helped him a great deal. I want to hear and see more of him. I was impressed,” Stabile said. “You need someone with the message and the financial backing to get to the goal line. I think Romney financially gets there, maybe this guy can too. We’ll see.”

Perry called for a six-month freeze on federal regulations and a quicker turnaround for getting business permits from government.

“We are basically a permit by rule state,” Perry explained. “Here’s the rule, and if you meet the rule, here’s your permit. There is no reason that can’t happen at the federal level.”

At the Bedford forum, some observers saw a halting speaker who reminded them of then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who last packed the Bedford Village Inn this full in 1999.

“I thought he was flat from the podium,” said Andrew Smith, who directs the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. “On a personal level, he seemed pretty engaging and that could be a plus for him.”

Longtime GOP media consultant Patrick Griffin advised that Perry could appeal to all voters yearning for a quicker economic recovery over the next four years.

“He’s got a nice story to tell about jobs, and in the times we’re in, that’s a pretty good calling card,” Griffin said.

Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashuatelegraph.com. Also check out Landrigan (@KLandrigan) on Twitter and don’t forget The Telegraph’s new, interactive live feed at www.nashuatelegraph.com/topics/livefeed.