"We will help you out."

UPDATE: No hoax. According to ZeroHedge, the man who approached Rick Perry is likely to be James Mahoney, Director of Public Policy at Bank of America (scroll down past the video).

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Presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke at a breakfast in New Hampshire this morning, and as he was mingling, CSPAN taped a man walk up to him, identify himself as from the Bank of America and say, clear as day, “We will help you out."

Now, it may be that this is a hoax. In fact, it’s rather doubtful that Bank of America executives or lobbyists would use a public forum in a crowd to deliver that message. But what is clear is that Perry has benefited greatly from financial backing from Bank of America, their political action committee, and their executives over the years.

  • Governor Perry’s gubernatorial campaigns have received $125,900 from Bank of America’s PAC and executives since 2003, according to analysis of data provided by the National Institute on Money in State Politics. During the 2010 cycle alone, Perry’s campaign received $30,160 from the bank’s PAC and executives.
  • Bank of America has also given generously to the Republican Governors Association (RGA), which also happens to be Perry’s largest donor ($4 million from 2001 to 2010), according to Texans for Public Justice. Perry chaired the Association in 2008 and 2011 until he recently stepped down after announcing his presidential campaign. Since 2003, Bank of America has contributed $554,015 to the RGA, according to analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Now, whether or not the man who approached Perry actually works for Bank of America, or was authorized to speak on their behalf if he indeed is a Bank of America employee, he could have well said, “We have already helped you out.”