Rick Perry takes up Coke CEO’s complaint — but not by name

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday pointed to Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent’s assertion that the United States is becoming a tougher place to do business than China.

Without citing Kent by name, Perry said:

”When a communist country has less bureaucratic red tape than America, we might just be on the wrong track.”

Perry’s Cobb County speech before the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was his first as a presidential candidate in Georgia.

The Texas governor only cited a portion of the Coke executive’s complaint. Perry did not address Washington gridlock, which – along with an antiquated tax code – was offered by Kent as a reason for business uncertainty in the U.S.

With many Mitt Romney supporters in the room, the Texas governor also took aim at his rival, the former Massachusetts governor.

“I knew when I got into this race that I would have my hands full fighting President Obama’s big government agenda. I just didn’t think it would be in the Republican primary,” Perry said.

As with Kent, Perry didn’t call out Romney by name — which you can understand, given that the GPPF is a non-partisan organization. But you have to wonder — within a stone’s throw of the corporate headquarters — why Perry was unwilling to cite one of Georgia’s largest and most storied employers by name.

He simply referred to Coke as “a major American company.”

Count that as a missed opportunity.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

45 comments Add your comment

Ga Values

September 30th, 2011
10:49 am

Rick Santorum, making a play to the same base of social conservatives in Iowa as Rick Perry, is taking a victory lap over the Texas governor’s walkback of his “don’t have a heart” comment about his immigration critics.

Santorum is also taking credit for Perry’s acknowledgment that he should have done an “opt-in” instead of an “opt-out” on his HPV vaccine mandate, a position that the Texas governor took when he first entered the race.
Continue Reading

Still, Santorum adviser Hogan Gidley said, “After just two weeks and two debates Governor Perry has flipped his stance on two major issues – and now agrees with Sen. Santorum and the conservative point of view.

“Don’t get me wrong, while I’m glad Governor Perry is following Rick Santorum’s leadership on conservative issues, we’re hoping for a hat trick – and maybe Governor Perry will flip on another of his alarming positions: using tax payer dollars to subsidize college tuition for illegal aliens while forcing American citizens to pay full price,” he added.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/64772.html#ixzz1ZRnm6bdv


September 30th, 2011
10:59 am

A house divided always falls. GOP simpletons continue to fan the flames of division for fun and profit.


September 30th, 2011
11:02 am

Would both perry and muhtar kent like to see the United States Citizenry reduced to the blind consumer without rights status of the Chinese Citizenry?

Life includes more than supplying ‘profit’ to a tiny cabal of parasites.

Mrs. Perry

September 30th, 2011
11:08 am

This should ignite the ignorant southern racist….we need your vote!


September 30th, 2011
11:19 am

@ Ga Values – While I don’t agree the HPV issue is “major”, I am glad to see Perry is open to changing his positions. What was the second “major” issue Santorum says he flipped?

I also hope he will reverse his and Texas’ subsidized college tuition for illegal aliens.


September 30th, 2011
11:25 am

Santorum is a theocracy-loving moonbat. Hell, I’d take another 4 years of Duhbama over either him or Bachmann.

Butch Cassidy

September 30th, 2011
11:28 am

LOL, Brilliant! Hey, lets get rid of everything that stands in the way of business so that we can be just like China. Clean air and water? That’s for job killing socialists! Child labor laws? Not cost effective, we need all the hands we can get to crank out the product. Liveable wage? How dare you bite the hand that feeds you, we gave you a cardboard box didn’t we? Fair labor laws? Why go through the hassle? It’s much easier to shoot people than to get bogged down in all that beauracracy. Yep, that Rick Perry is pure genius!


September 30th, 2011
11:29 am

@ Tom – how are Santorum or Bachmann any different than Perry when it comes to being a “theocracy-loving moonbat”?

I agree, and have eliminated all 3 from my vote (along with maybe all of the rest of Republican contenders).


September 30th, 2011
11:31 am

Facing a $6.6 billion budget deficit, Texas used 6.4 billion of federal stimulus dollars to patch it, allowing the state to keep its $9.1 emergency fund intact!

Yep, Perry loves big government federal deficit bloating “because its FREE pork. Hey Texas, if the federal deficit is such a concern how about paying that $6.6 billion back!!!

Rove Repubs

September 30th, 2011
11:32 am

First Perry calls anyone who does not want to subsidize the state rate of tuition “heartless” then he wants to mislead people about a 31 yr old drug rep/lobbiest telling him about a bout with cancer having influenced his decision on the HPV issue however, he omits the fact that the meeting did not take place until AFTER he had signed the order. The man is slick and seems to have no problem bending the truth. We need a repub candidate who can make Rick Perry inconsequential in our daily lives.

Butch Cassidy

September 30th, 2011
11:34 am

Hey Rick, I heard that America was an easy place to do business when we allowed slavery, can you jump on that right after you tackle Obamacare?


September 30th, 2011
11:36 am

I could see voting for Romney, but if Perry, Santorum, Bachmann or Palin get the nomination, then I won’t even show up at the polls.

Real Athens

September 30th, 2011
11:40 am


A GOP politician taking something out of context so he can build a straw man argument. No way!

“Coca-Cola now sees the US becoming a less friendly business environment than China, its chief executive has revealed, citing political gridlock and an antiquated tax structure as reasons its home market has become less competitive.
Muhtar Kent, Coke’s chief executive, said “in many respects” it was easier doing business in China, which he likened to a well-managed company. “You have a one-stop shop in terms of the Chinese foreign investment agency and local governments are fighting for investment with each other,” he told the Financial Times”.

Kent likes the one stop shopping of a communist dictatorship — imagine that. Matter of fact, Kent has a long history of disliking and avoiding any regulations that inhibit his own personal wealth building.

From Bloomberg: “A top executive sells short 100,000 shares in his own company a few hours before the company announces weaker profits than predicted.
The bad financial news for Coca-Cola Amatil, Ltd., a regional bottler in Sydney, Australia, sends share price tumbling 12 percent the next trading day and 23 percent over the next several days.

The executive, Muhtar Kent, in charge of Amatil’s European division, rakes in a nice profit when his short position is closed out.

Insider trading? The Australian Securities Commission looked into it, declined criminal prosecution and struck a civil settlement. The executive disgorged his profit of $260,000, plus $30,000 to help pay for the investigation, with which he had cooperated. Kent denied he traded on inside knowledge.”

You really can’t blame Perry for his gaffe. The man is obviously stupid and just doing what he is told by handlers.


September 30th, 2011
11:40 am

Republicans are pushing the idea that “government is the problem, not the solution” with one breath and complaining with the other breath because the government has not fixed the economy.

You know, maybe the economy is fixed. Maybe it just changed. Changed for the long haul.

Just maybe.

Road Scholar

September 30th, 2011
11:40 am

Butch C: Good posts!

“”When a communist country has less bureaucratic red tape than America, we might just be on the wrong track.”

That should aid also in the death penalty statistics! Let’s kill them, and then we’ll have the trial! I have a friend who says all the suspects in the APS scandal should have lost their jobs and be in jail. No due process? Not guilty until PROVEN guilty?

Road Scholar

September 30th, 2011
11:42 am

jconservative: Good post! Change is a bitch, isn’t it!


September 30th, 2011
11:45 am

Interesting to me that Perry still sees Romney as his main threat. Mitt and Rick are going to continue bashing each other to the point their own supports become fed up. Meantime, Georgia’s own Herman Cain is offering real solutions to American’s problems. He’s just the candidate to turn this country around. If you haven’t already checked out Herman’s 9-9-9 plan, do so today. It’s the first step toward a flat tax. If you want to return to the Ronald Regan America most of us grew up in, vote Herman Cain!


September 30th, 2011
11:48 am

Remember the latest big media splash jobs bill Obama put forward? Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says Democrats don’t have the votes for the latest Obama jobs bill in the Democrat party controlled Senate. It was DOA in the Republican party controlled House, and has been a total waste of time – other than Obama and his media lap dogs campaigning over a year before the election.

King Bobby

September 30th, 2011
11:53 am

Herman Cain! Unencumbered by the special interests killing our way of life; both DEM and REPUB. Real solutions for real problems.


September 30th, 2011
11:56 am

Centrist, thanks for your excellent point. I am sure you support the logical conclusion that voters should turn out those Republican Congressmen and Senators who have been consistently obstructionist to President Obama’s common sense legislative agenda.


September 30th, 2011
12:00 pm

“If you want to return to the Ronald Regan America most of us grew up in, vote Herman Cain!”

Rick Perry is the next Reagan. Perry helped fuel the federal deficit with his 6.4 billion stimulus grab, Reagan loved big deficits.

Perry signed the Texas Dream Act, Reagan gave amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

Perry loves Al Gore and used to be a Democrat. Reagan was also an ex-Democrat.

Perry was a Cheerleader in college. Reagan was also a cheerleader in college.


September 30th, 2011
12:07 pm

I’m baffled by a CEO and now a Repub presidential candidate getting on a communist country bandwagon regarding capitalism. I think the Coke CEO could have made his point about our country’s problems without suggesting that we be more like China. Don’t the Repub candidates bash China over their currency manipulations? Having a CEO use a totalitarian regime as a model for capitalism raises so many concerns. I think it shows that no other candidates other than Perry have jumped on this bandwagon. Maybe they know better.


September 30th, 2011
12:11 pm

@ yuzeyurbrane posted: “voters should turn out those Republican Congressmen and Senators who have been consistently obstructionist to President Obama’s common sense legislative agenda.”

Not only is that NOT going to happen (House solid Republican, and the Senate might go Republican, also) – here is the rest of the Durbin thinking on the defunct jobs bill:

Durbin added that the president’s bill would need bipartisan support because there are senators both on the left and the right opposed to aspects of it.

“The oil-producing-state senators don’t like eliminating or reducing the subsidy for oil companies,” Durbin said. “There are some senators who are up for election who say ‘I’m never gonna vote for a tax increase while I’m up for election, even on the wealthiest people.’ So, we’re not gonna have 100 percent of Democratic senators. That’s why it needs to be bipartisan and I hope we can find some Republicans who will join us to make it happen.”


September 30th, 2011
12:14 pm

I can hear the coffin door closing on Perry’s campaign.

Mr. Salty

September 30th, 2011
12:19 pm

Not a huge deal but Reagan wasn’t a cheerleader. He played football at Eureka College.


September 30th, 2011
12:29 pm

Hey Republicans, you seem to be getting desperate, you still only have about 5 ugly candidates to choose from. Looks like your going to have to take one of the ugly ones to the dance. Some of you must be drinking, you come in here talking about how pretty they all are. Alcohol can easily turn a 4 into a 10.

How about Nathan Deal for president! Georgia turned this 2 into a 10. I don’t know if he was a cheerleader or not but he sure is a cheerleader for Federal deficit bloating dollars, that should put him right up with the Republican pack.

Nathan Deal 2012!


September 30th, 2011
12:31 pm

Mr Salty, indeed Reagan was a football player, but during basketball season he was a cheerleader.

Sitting Bull

September 30th, 2011
12:37 pm

I think I might like a theocracy for a change,

Dumb and Dumber

September 30th, 2011
12:52 pm

Maybe Perry and the folks from Choke-Cola want us to adopt the health and environmental standards of China, how about a few PCBs in your coke?
We got plenty of PCBs in the Coosa river that runs right through Rome, GA. Yum!

And before y’all blame Obama for that, it was the Bush-era EPA that allowed those PCBs to stay in place. You see, when General Electric talks, politicians just say “yes” to whatever GE wants. Oh, and the Bush-era EPA official who agreed to the deal to leave those PCBs in the Coosa River? He is now head of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Sweet!

Ol' Timer

September 30th, 2011
1:30 pm

@Butch Cassidy — Thanks for your comments.

The statements made by Rich Perry about the ease of doing business in China shows the shallowness of his thinking and why we just can’t afford to have a guy with a 1.95 GPA from Texas A&M in the White House. remember how difficult it was to hold the Olympics in China because of the smog and air pollution.

According to what I read, even Dubya is uging Christi to enter the race rather than throwing his support behind the “native son.”

And, as far as Coke is concerned, it’s probably the .75 cent an hour wages in communist China that he finds so attractive. And, he certainly won’t have to worry about environmental, safety, workman’s Comp and other 20th century labor laws in China where workers are treated like hoe handles — if one breaks, throw it away and get a new one.


September 30th, 2011
1:43 pm

Maybe we should start executing our business executives for white collar crimes like they do in China.


September 30th, 2011
1:46 pm

I have a question to the Republicans who keep saying that the Governmnet is the problem and not the solution. If you beleive that why are you wanting to be in the Governmnet? Why would I vote for someone who does not beleive in something that they want to be the leader?

Jackets '10

September 30th, 2011
2:17 pm

And we still have over a year left of this… Buckle up folks.

Jackets '10

September 30th, 2011
2:20 pm

Question: Most Rebulicans believe that the private sector should be left mostly to itself, or more so than it is right now at the very least. Them wanting to run for the POTUS will allow them to back off of the private sector and exercise their economic theories. I, to a certain extent agree with them, but the government has played some pretty important roles in regualting the quality of the goods we buy amongst other things, so I am unsure I would be comfortable in voting for someone who wanted to go very far with the whole “take the government out of the economy” type of mind set.

Grover (not the Cookie Monster) Norquist

September 30th, 2011
2:25 pm

The Question: [Why do] “Republicans who keep saying that the Governmnet is the problem and not the solution. If you beleive that why are you wanting to be in the Governmnet? Why would I vote for someone who does not beleive in something that they want to be the leader?”

Answer: To drown it in the bathtub. That way we can enjoy the business climate, and health, environmental and safety standards of Communist China. Making money isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. Now, go vote for the GOP.


September 30th, 2011
2:32 pm

Thanks Jackets 10..


September 30th, 2011
2:50 pm

The yellow dogs and those with short memories always show up here around noon. I am ok with Perry or Romney, both have strengths and weaknesses, but both better than the current disappointment. In my opinion, anyone who says they are going to sit it out is simply a liberal citizen with no sense of history or economics.


September 30th, 2011
3:20 pm

The full Rick Perry plan,

Texas will secede then join China.

Jackets '10

September 30th, 2011
3:29 pm

Question: Glad I could help, or attempt to inform. I would consider myself fiscally conservative and a little liberal on the social issue side, while not being completely Libertarian. So, basically, no one currently appeals to me 100%. Ron Paul would be my choice if he didnt want to make the govt so small it would border on ineffective, though I do give him credit for consistency. There needs to be smart spending now to get us out of the recession and then scale it back once we are out and let business take back the reins, all while the feds are busy building up the ole bank account. Then hopefully they won’t spend it all playing world police and the govt and business can learn to co-exist in a friendly environment… of course we will find that unicorns are real and Pluto will be redeclared a planet before any of that happens.

Jackets '10

September 30th, 2011
3:30 pm

Danny X: lolz….. Pretty sure the secession thing is ulitmately gonna cost him dearly.

Jackets '10

September 30th, 2011
3:48 pm

As much as I like to joke about how the south should just seceede again, it is unbecoming and untolderable for the potential leader of our country to suggest that nonsense.

Jon Lester

September 30th, 2011
4:59 pm

Said communist country also happens to have a much more sound economy than ours.


October 1st, 2011
5:35 am

what happened to just common sense, i think we all are part lazy and crazy.


October 1st, 2011
1:01 pm

Bravo Honested, Butch & Danny. As usual, you nailed it.


October 2nd, 2011
7:42 pm

Will somebody tell Mr. Santroium. That’s b/c China has an One Party Nation. Called the Communist Party. They also only have ONE ethnic group to deal with called the Chinese. Get it. He just needs to talk how we attract Amercian Business to America and pay em a living wage like Henry Ford did. Not like J.D. Rockerfuller that started this whole regulatory movement with his abuses of the system!