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Perry fires back at Hoyer over Tea Party remark

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry took a shot at Rep. Steny Hoyer on Tuesday, arguing that the Maryland Democrat is part of a culture in Washington that is “making a great living up there…at our expense.”

In a speech in Iowa, the Texas governor outlined a plan to slash government spending in part by reducing salaries for lawmakers. Asked about the proposal earlier in the day, Hoyer suggested that Perry was pandering to the Tea Party.

“When people like Steny Hoyer come out there and go, 'Is this guy being serious?' Yeah, you better believe it Steny. Americans are serious. They're serious about the spending that's going on,” Perry said on a conservative radio show. “It's not a surprise to me when I laid out this fundamental reform … that career politicians like Steny Hoyer don't like my plan to overhaul Washington. They're making a great living up there.”

Earlier in the day, when asked about Perry’s plan to halve lawmakers’ salaries, Hoyer gibed the candidate for a recent debate performance in which he could not remember the third federal agency he wants to eliminate.

“Rick Perry? I have heard that name, yes. Oh, he is the one that has three -- yes, I can't remember what they are.”

Hoyer then dismissed Perry’s government-reduction idea.

“This is a serious proposal he is making for a country that has very high unemployment, whose budget deficit is larger than it's ever been in history, would have two wars that we're confronting and trying to bring to conclusion,” Hoyer said.

“If this is what he thinks is pandering to the Tea Party, it is not, in my opinion, speaking to the issues that the American public feels are very, very critical to them, jobs being the number one issue. So I don't think it's a very serious effort on his part.”

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